On occasion the best way to categorize an area rug is not by which region it is from, but rather if it is made in the country or city.
Here are a few notable facts that’ll help you better understand the distinct difference in pattern design and colors schemes between country area rugs and city area rugs.
Country rugs have a reputation for using natural dyes, and bold, geometric patterns that are distinct to each community. Because the dyes are natural, country rug weavers regularly use less color in each area rug. This process dates back to the beginning days of rug weaving, with nomadic tribes in Turkey and Mongolia, and continues to the day to define the cultural heritage of many countries throughout Asia and the Middle East.
This old age process began in the meadows where men would shear the sheep. The wool from the sheep would then be hand spun and dyed, if possible only using natural plants such as indigo, madder, pomegranates and or oak.
The wool is then taken into the villages of these communities, where the women of these families, as well as extended family members, sit together around a loom and weave designs that are essential to the region’s history, religion and way of life.
Often times, children will also sit alongside their aunts and mothers to learn this delicate and detailed oriented art. Common pattern characteristics of country rug designs are usually bold and geometric. When figures are used, they depict a hieroglyphic appearance.
Country rugs are typically designed of material found in the region; for instance, a lot of area rug weavers use cotton for the warp and weft of the rugs they weave. The reason why? Cotton is less elastic than wool which makes it easier to weave a straight and flat area rug.
However, semi-nomadic cattle farmers like some Afghans use wool for their warp and weft because they don’t produce enough cotton themselves. These country Persian area rugs are often less tightly knotted than rugs made in cities. Their designs are geometrical and plainly drawn. In the making of country rugs generally fewer colors are used as well, ordinarily around 5 to 6.
Skillful rug weavers in large cities make city rugs. Designs are generally made for selling purposes and are not so much tied to tradition, religion, culture, community, and ways of life; such as that of country rugs. This most likely indicates that city rug designs and colors are chosen according to current market trends and relative pattern designs, rather than keeping the conventional patterns and colors of traditional kilims. What’s more, these area rugs display elaborate patterns with many colors, usually more than 10, unlike country rugs that only use 5 to 6.
Nonetheless, these area rug weavers are tremendously talented and high-quality wool is commonly used in their rug design production. However, synthetic dyes are more likely to have been used to color the wool, which in turn becomes a less desirable investment for area rug collectors.
City area rugs are often the product of very specialized labor as opposed to the care, passion, love, thorough attention to detail, and dedication put into each traditional area rug made by a country weaver. In the creation of city rugs, a handful of local city residents participate in each stage of the rug making process: designers and graphic makers choose the design; dyers come up with the colors for the designs; weavers create the area rugs and washers touch them up to end the process with a high quality area rug ready to be sold to the market.
When selecting an area rug to be placed in your home, always take into consideration the style and color contrast you would like to display in your living space. If your vision is to showcase a true work of art then it is a traditional kilim that you should move forward with; now if you’re the type of person who likes to go with the flow of things, then just go for an industrialized trendy and stylish city area rug.
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