First off, my idea of what an oriental rug is was WRONG. They are not precious things to protect from foot traffic but unique and usable works of art that last a lifetime with reasonable care. And they are not all of a stereotypical design. They may seem expensive, but considering that they are hand made AND long-lasting, the prices are actually quite reasonable. But it is important to purchase from a reputable dealer if you want a quality rug.
I wish my photos did justice to the beauty of these rugs, but nothing replaces viewing them up close and personal and TOUCHING them. The ones from Nepal and Tibet are made of wool and silk; when you look at them from different angles, the light reflects off the silk differently, creating changes, some subtle, some dramatic.
|Rug 1, view 1|
|Rug 1, view 2|
|Rug 2, view 1|
|Rug 2, view 2|
These rugs have a cotton warp and weft, and the fibers are knotted at the intersections of the warp and weft. Each one takes about 18 months to create. Some patterns are computer generated, but the work is done by hand, so there is always some variation. The advantage of the computer generated patterns is the same design may be reproduced in multiple sizes. Other patterns may have a repeating motif... or not. Many are quite abstract. They also have a lot of texture.
The rugs from Nepal and Tibet are piled rugs. We looked at some flat weave rugs in the shop, including soumak which is something I have woven myself in small quatities. These rugs are reversible.
I think this one is a mixture of pile and soumak.
And now my memory of all the information shared with us today is failing. I think these are also examples of flat weave but they have a backing on them.
There were some rugs with geometric designs I really liked. While some people put them on top of carpet, I'm thinking my studio, with its laminate wood floor, would benefit from an oriental rug, one I could do yoga on. Ideally, one would pick out a rug and use it as the starting point for the room's decor, but we don't live in an ideal world. Besides, walls are easy to repaint.
Do YOU have an oriental rug? What's your opinion of them?