A Turkish rug is the perfect way to add a splash of color and to bring together a room’s design. Vintage Turkish rugs, in particular, offer an exquisite insight into the region’s craftsmanship. Their intricate oxidized hues and posh pastels help accentuate the furniture in any room. They can even act as a focal point that makes the entire room come alive. While these rugs are an ideal choice for rustic spaces, they can also be the perfect complement to any elegant or palatial drawing room.
Antique turkish rugs are revered by collectors and interior designers for their sumptuous artistry, exotic beauty and historical influence. Since the 13th century, these incredibly rare pieces have been prized as historical icons that represent the splendor and mystery of a bygone age of massive empires ruling the world. The patterns and motifs found in these antique Turkish rugs helped inspire the iconic paintings of renowned European artists such as Memling, Bellini, Lotto and Hans Holbein.
The earliest Turkish rugs, woven by nomadic tribes of Anatolia, are characterized by asymmetry and a dramatic use of luminous natural dyes. The rust-red tones of Ladik carpets, for example, are the result of cochineal (a deep rose to burgundy dye made from Kerkes beetles imported from the West Indies). Other rug weaving centers throughout Turkey introduced a series of important innovations that would become commonplace in the Ottoman period, including the development of central medallion designs.
From the mid-sixteenth century, Turkish rug production underwent another radical transformation. This was thanks to the Ottomans, who quite literally seized power and oversaw one of the most dramatic shifts in the history of Turkish culture. The resurgence of Turkish weaving was fueled by the demands of an ever-expanding Ottoman empire. The resulting rug production is renowned for its quality and beauty.
As the modern era began, a new trend emerged for updating these antique rugs with a contemporary flair. These new rugs are sometimes given the appearance of being distressed or overdyed. This process involves washing and shaving the rug to expose its fibers, which are then sunned to mute the colors into pastels. As a result, these overdyed vintage turkish rugs look as if they have been “lived on” for centuries. As a result, they offer a unique opportunity for the modern homeowner to add a touch of vintage elegance and intrigue to any space in their home. This is especially true when these overdyed rugs are used in neutral color schemes. The result is an effortless look that works well in any type of room.