The History of Rug Making

Rugs are a common floor covering in most modern homes but do you know from where they originated? The history of rug making is a very interesting one, and it starts in ancient Egypt. Over the centuries, techniques for fashioning rugs has evolved and become more sophisticated.

Images on a fresco, dating from approximately 3000 BC, depict weavers working on a loom to fashion rugs. Similar ones have been discovered in Egyptian tombs, and rugs are mentioned in stories dating from ancient times. Cleopatra, the last Pharaoh of Egypt, was carried to Caesar rolled up in a rug. References to rugs are made in the Bible, which would indicate that people living at that time knew them.

Ancient Egyptian Rugs

The traditional rug designs made in ancient Egypt do not resemble modern Oriental styles. The surface of the Egyptian rug was not fashioned by tying wool onto warp threads. Instead, the Egyptian rugs were made in a flat, tapestry style and did not have a pile.

Persian Rugs

Persian rugs were highly developed by 600 BC. Rugs made during this time were known for their rich pile. Most of them have disintegrated over the centuries, but one notable exception was discovered in the tomb of a Scythian prince in 1948.

While grave robbers had taken gold and valuables, a Pazyryk carpet was found intact. Radiocarbon testing was used to determine that the rug was made in the fifth century BC. It measures 9.3 x 6.5 feet (283 cm x 200 cm). On examination, the rug was found to have 232 symmetrical knots per square inch, 36 per square centimetre.

This piece of carpet, which is the oldest in the world, features a deep red colour tone in its centre. The rug also has two borders: one shows Persian hunters and the other one depicts their prey, deer.

Rugs Used During the Middle Ages

Crusaders returning from the Middle East introduced oriental rugs to Europe. The rugs were placed on stone floors to provide warmth. Henry IV of France established a factory in the Louvre palace in the 17th century. Two other factories were established in Paris and Aubusson.

Rugs made at Aubusson featured a flat weave that was known as the Aubus-son. This style looks similar to a tapestry but is coarser in appearance. In contrast, the rugs woven in Paris, known as Savon-nerie, looked more like Oriental rugs with their deep wool pile.

Rugs made during this time that were made for kings can be likened to works of art. They featured a lot of detail and were made by people who were true artists.

French rug-making techniques spread to England and the Netherlands in the late 1600s. The Edict of Nantes, which had guaranteed rights to French Protestants, was revoked, which led to a number of artisans leaving that country for places where they could practice their faith.

The History of Rug Making

Rugs are a common floor covering in most modern homes but do you know from where they originated? The history of rug making is a very interesting one, and it starts in ancient Egypt. Over the centuries, techniques for fashioning rugs has evolved and become more sophisticated.

Images on a fresco, dating from approximately 3000 BC, depict weavers working on a loom to fashion rugs. Similar ones have been discovered in Egyptian tombs, and rugs are mentioned in stories dating from ancient times. Cleopatra, the last Pharaoh of Egypt, was carried to Caesar rolled up in a rug. References to rugs are made in the Bible, which would indicate that people living at that time knew them.

Ancient Egyptian Rugs

The traditional rug designs made in ancient Egypt do not resemble modern Oriental styles. The surface of the Egyptian rug was not fashioned by tying wool onto warp threads. Instead, the Egyptian rugs were made in a flat, tapestry style and did not have a pile.

Persian Rugs

Persian rugs were highly developed by 600 BC. Rugs made during this time were known for their rich pile. Most of them have disintegrated over the centuries, but one notable exception was discovered in the tomb of a Scythian prince in 1948.

While grave robbers had taken gold and valuables, a Pazyryk carpet was found intact. Radiocarbon testing was used to determine that the rug was made in the fifth century BC. It measures 9.3 x 6.5 feet (283 cm x 200 cm). On examination, the rug was found to have 232 symmetrical knots per square inch, 36 per square centimetre.

This piece of carpet, which is the oldest in the world, features a deep red colour tone in its centre. The rug also has two borders: one shows Persian hunters and the other one depicts their prey, deer.

Rugs Used During the Middle Ages

Crusaders returning from the Middle East introduced oriental rugs to Europe. The rugs were placed on stone floors to provide warmth. Henry IV of France established a factory in the Louvre palace in the 17th century. Two other factories were established in Paris and Aubusson.

Rugs made at Aubusson featured a flat weave that was known as the Aubus-son. This style looks similar to a tapestry but is coarser in appearance. In contrast, the rugs woven in Paris, known as Savon-nerie, looked more like Oriental rugs with their deep wool pile.

Rugs made during this time that were made for kings can be likened to works of art. They featured a lot of detail and were made by people who were true artists.

French rug-making techniques spread to England and the Netherlands in the late 1600s. The Edict of Nantes, which had guaranteed rights to French Protestants, was revoked, which led to a number of artisans leaving that country for places where they could practice their faith.