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The Beginner's Guide to Oriental Rugs

When it comes to looking for a new rug, you're all but guaranteed to run across the term ‘oriental rug’ now and again. It's a term that many of us have heard countless times, but not many of us really know the precise definition of an oriental rug. So with that in mind, here's our beginner’s guide to oriental rugs.

What defines an oriental rug?

The first thing to note about oriental rugs is that the term doesn’t apply to just one specific type of rug. You’ll find oriental rugs made with heavyweight pile, flat-woven surfaces, and in a huge variety of different designs and colours. Likewise the materials used are wide-ranging, including wool, cotton, and silk. The reason they’re referred to as ‘oriental’ rugs is that the designs of these pieces originated in a place known as ‘the rug belt’, which ranges from Morocco to North Africa, the Middle East, and India. As you can see, it’s almost impossible to pigeonhole all oriental rugs into just one or two categories. That said, there are a couple of shared characteristics that are a good indication of an oriental rug.

How to spot an oriental rug

While the weave, colour, and material of an oriental rug can vary greatly, the easiest way to identify an oriental rug is via its pattern. The first hallmark to look for will be found at the centre of the rug pattern and it’s known as a ‘medallion’. These are symmetrical shapes that sit in the middle of the rug design, with its design often repeated in the corners. The other characteristic of an oriental rug pattern is the type of the design itself. Generally speaking, there are two variants: rectilinear (geometric shapes) or curvilinear (floral shapes). These elements in combination with the intricate and ornate details in the pattern are dead giveaways that you’re looking at an oriental rug. 

Finding the right oriental rug for you

Because there is such a huge amount of choice when it comes to oriental rugs, perhaps the best way to find one you like is to explore the range. By doing this, you’ll be able to get a good idea of the patterns as well as the available material options too. You’ll also be able to decide whether or not the specific oriental rug you’re looking at will work alongside your existing interior décor. Because of their timeless design, oriental rugs will generally blend seamlessly with almost any aesthetic.

Now that you're well-versed in oriental rugs, why not explore our extensive range of oriental rugs? And if you have any questions about oriental rugs, or any other aspect of buying your new rug, just call our friendly team on 0845 838 8638.



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