What are Oriental Rugs from Caspian Region?

By definition, oriental rugs are handwoven carpets made for a range of utilitarian and symbolic purposes in the “oriental countries,” which encompass Asian countries like Iran (formerly known as Persia), China, India, Pakistan, Nepal, Turkey, and so on.

Oriental rugs from the Caspian region specifically include rugs from the five countries sharing the coastlines of the Caspian Sea, which are Iran, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, Russia, and Azerbaijan. For more than two thousand years, these countries have produced – and continue to do so – some of the most popular types of rugs that are sought after by people all over the world due to their distinct designs, vibrant colors, and exotic flair. The rich local traditions and cultures of the artisans of each country and its many communities have contributed to this ancient textile art that lends beauty, comfort, and warmth to any space.

Soft Colored Oushak Rug, Transitional Rug for Living Room, main image, size 9x11.10
7020- Soft Colored Rug, Transitional Rug for Living Room

Oriental carpets of all types, including those from the Caspian region, vary widely in size, from small prayer rugs to large room-sized carpets, and are usually pile woven or flat woven using an array of materials, including silk, wool, and cotton. Since the Middle Ages, these carpets have held special significance in the cultures of the origin countries as well as in Europe and the USA.

History of Oriental Rugs from Caspian Region

It is slightly difficult to trace the exact origins of oriental carpets from the Caspian area, or any other type of oriental carpet, as there is not much archeological evidence to support any theories. The earliest fragments are also not limited to a specific geographical area and are spread across a long time period. The oldest surviving hand-knotted rug, the Pazyryk carpet, which was discovered in an almost completely preserved condition in modern-day Iran, dates back to 500 B.C. It has a deep red central field flanked by two wide borders on all sides, one depicting deer and the other Persian men on horseback. Despite its design, it is believed that this carpet is not a tribal product but rather one produced in an Achaemenid carpet production center.

The first documented evidence of Persian carpets can be found in Chinese texts from the Sassanid period (224 – 641 CE). There are numerous historical records that suggest that, more than 2,500 years ago, Cyrus the Great’s Achaemenian court at Pasargadae was adorned in stunning carpets. Explorers have also found ancient rug fragments dating back to the Third or Fourth century B.C. in Russia and fragments dating back to the Fourth or Fifth century A.D. in China. They show a fine weave of symmetrical as well as asymmetrical knots, which demonstrate that these advanced rug-making skills and techniques were already popular in the region during that time.

While antique oriental carpets from the Caspian region were all painstakingly handwoven by skilled craftsmen, today they are also machine-made, which results in more affordable and easily available versions. If you, however, want to experience the intricate details and striking colors of a true oriental carpet, you should invest in a handwoven piece. You can find numerous carpet sellers like Beautiful Rugs that deal in these carpets.

Oriental Rugs from the Caspian Region

The coastlines of the Caspian Sea are shared by five countries, namely Iran, Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan, Russia, and Kazakhstan. And all five of these countries are known for their unique rugs and their long and rich tradition of weaving. Each of these countries has its own patterns, colors, and weaving techniques that are typical of it. Every type of rug that is produced by the local artisans is a distinctive representation of the region and the weaver and is a complete one-of-a-kind work of art. You will find that most of the motifs, color schemes, and patterns you see today have been passed down through generations and remain unchanged.

Types of Oriental Rugs from the Caspian Region

The Caspian region produces some of the finest and most desirable types of oriental rugs. Let us learn more about them.

  • Persian rugs

When it comes to oriental rugs from the Caspian region, Persian rugs are perhaps the most popular. Handwoven in the many rug-making cities and villages of Iran, these rugs are prized for their distinct patterns and motifs, animated use of colors, and durability. You will find that Persian rugs often feature warm colors like red, brown, gold, and blue, and traditional motifs, which include floral, geometric, medallion, tribal, panel, Herati, and so on.  These rugs are usually named after the village or city where they are made, and in the case of tribal pieces, their name comes from the nomadic tribe that weaves them.

  • Azerbaijan rugs

Rugs from Azerbaijan are treasured for their excellent quality and unmatched artistic value. You can continue to use these rugs for decades without worrying about them losing color or their sheen. An interesting fact about Azerbaijan rugs is that the patterns and colors of the rugs are a medium through which the weavers narrate their stories, thus giving them a personal touch.

  • Turkmen rugs

Turkmen rugs are another type of Oriental rug from the Caspian region. The Turkmen were originally an ethnic, Iranian-speaking tribe in Central Asia. They produced different types of rugs, such as tent door hangings, traditional carpets, animal covers, saddlebags, and so on. Their designs, which showed some amount of Turkish influence, included a dominant use of madder red. Made primarily using wool and silk, most of the rugs featured a medallion-like polygonal pattern, known as gul.

  • Kazak rugs

Hailing from Kazakhstan, Kazak rugs can be identified by their exciting patterns and vibrant color palettes. These traditional tribal rugs are woven using handspun wool and feature bold geometric patterns, such as medallions that stack on top of one another. Long collected for their durability and rugged authenticity, Kazak rugs are available in numerous styles like Nahavand and Shirvan.

  • Russian rugs

Antique Russian rugs is a broad group that consists of rugs from a large and diverse area that includes parts of Russia as well Armenia, Georgia, and Azerbaijan. This region boasts a unique, multicultural setting with numerous cultures and ethnicities, which is reflected in the designs and colors used to create the rugs as well as the weaving techniques employed by the artisans. You can easily distinguish Russian rugs by their striking geometric patterns like diamonds and hexagons. Lively depictions of humans and animals often find a center stage in these rug designs as the weavers use them as a canvas to tell stories and folklore of the local communities.

 Characteristics of Oriental Rugs from Caspian Region

If you are looking to add a touch of oriental magic to your living or workspace, oriental rugs from the Caspian region are, undoubtedly, a great choice for you. They, however, can cost you a pretty penny, which is why you must try to learn about them as much as you can to ensure that you make the right choice. And that includes learning some of their characteristics to help tell an authentic Caspian rug from a fake.

  • Oriental carpets from the Caspian region are always handwoven and come with a unique feature that cannot be replicated by a machine. The weaver secures the nap with the base threads using a special knotting technique that is possible only by hand. In machine-made rugs, the nap, instead of being knotted down, is stuck between the weft and base threads.
  • Another way to identify oriental rugs from the Caspian region is to examine the material. Authentic oriental rugs are made using natural raw materials like wool and cotton and are also colored using natural dyes.
  • The beauty of Caspian area rugs appreciates with the passage of time. The color may mellow with age, but it still retails that allure that you will not find in a machine-made rug.

How to Use Oriental Rugs from Caspian Region in Home Décor?

If you feel like your interiors lack any interest or excitement, all you need to do is add an oriental rug of Caspian areas (or two). With their striking colors and designs, they will instantly lift up the look and ambiance of the space, while also adding the finishing touch to the existing décor. Moreover, they can anchor a room and tie all the different elements together, thus making it all much more cohesive.

Here are some fun ways to spruce up your home or office using oriental rugs from the Caspian region:

  • Add color to your living room.
  • Dress up a bare wall.
  • Use as a prayer rug.
  • Decorate your hallways.
  • Warm-up your bedroom floors during winter.
  • Brighten up your cooking space.

Rugs are an amazing alternative to wall-to-wall carpets, as they are easier to install, remove, and clean. Moreover, they do not require as much commitment because you can easily switch one for the other when redecorating your home.

Buy Oriental Rugs from Caspian Region at Beautiful Rugs

Beautiful Rugs offer a collection of luxurious oriental rugs from the Caspian area that are available at affordable prices. Browse through our online store to discover an assortment of styles, colors, designs, and sizes. Whether you are looking for Persian rugs, Tabriz rugs, contemporary rugs, or prayer rugs, here you will find them all and more.

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