Carpet have enchanted us for thousands of years – from ancient paintings of “Sky People” riding their magic carpets, , to the ancient marketplaces of Turkey and Persia to Aladdin and his magic carpet, carpets have been a part of many magical, mystical tales. The beauty and artistry of ancient Persian and Turkish rugs were sold at the ancient marketplaces.
Area rugs and carpets have their beginnings in the Neolith Age and the nomadic people. Archaeologists have discovered remnants of what appear to be carpets that were thickly knotted. It is theorized that these “carpets” could be worn to protect them from adverse climatic conditions as well as bedding, so as not sleep on the cold ground.
One of the oldest artifacts representing ancient weaving was discovered in Siberia and dates back to the 5th century BC, confirming that carpet usage had evolved into decorative accessories.
Nomadic people decorated the floors of their tents with several carpets, both for beauty and protection from the hard, hot or cold ground.
The Oriental Carpet Belt, as the area came to be know , extended from Turkestan west, to Persia, the Caucasus, and Anatolia; to the east it extended to China, and then to India, teaching this trade to the natives in all the Orient.
How Carpet are dated
1860-1870 – traditionally woven carpets made with natural dyes or before the introduction of the synthetic dyes are fondly termed as antique carpets
1860-1870 to the early 20th century had ‘Semi antique’ carpets. Usually, Turkish and Persian weavings have fully or partially displayed traditional decorations and motifs
1920-1930 till today – The carpets woven during this period are known as ‘modern carpets’. Modern carpets are normally inspired from the Western choices and demands
Carpet around the World
Carpets from the Islamic world are superior in quality.Their unique designs and elegance keeps them in high demand. Carpets of this quality can be found all over the Middle East—Persia, Turkey, Istanbul, Cairo and Eastern Turkestan and are typically woven with wool. Their beauty is world-renowned.
Chinese carpets are quite extraordinary and exquisite. The colors, designs and stories portrayed on these carpets are legendary. The scarcity of wool prevented China from becoming recognized for the artisans that they were until the late 1700’s.
The Chinese create some of the most exotic carpets – ancient local myths, Buddhism, and Taoism, flowers, abstracts, geometrical figures, creating a distinct style and grace. Mythical flowers, animals, are can also be seen in these spectacular creations. Each creation has as mystical meaning, usually not simple to decipher.
Turkish carpets are overall inspired from their local culture and tradition. The carpets all inspired from the Islamic culture display ancient layouts with a blend or repetition of simple or geometric figures or symbols. Entrancingly, the Seljuk rulers introduced the art of carpet weaving to Anatolian’s (Turks) during their invasion in 1100.
The eccentrically attractive carpets from Turkish weavers sport a lively color palette. The various specialized weaving locations spread all over the country produce carpets distinct in nature, popularly demanded worldwide. Exquisite prayer rugs obtained from nearly all production areas employ an artistic blend of vivacity with tradition.
The Mongolian Inspiration
Ancient Mongolian carpet weaving resembled those from Persia. The Altai nomads of Siberia are responsible for maintaining the cultural as well as trading links with the south and east in China, East Turkestan, Tibet, spreading westward into Iran and the Middle East. The pleasingly gorgeous pile carpets woven by Mongol weavers bore equal status as the great carpets from Mughal India and Safavid Iran.
The carpets obtained from the central part of the Asian continent, say China, Mongolia, Armenia, etc., Mongolia is one such country that displays a unique combination of the various forms of foreign decoration forms and motifs. They somehow reached this part of the world by various important happenings that changed various boundaries.
Believably, one of the earliest forms of carpets was found in the present day Mongolia that were woven by the first people to weave carpets. The strong rule of the Mongolian invader Genghis Khan during the 12th century paved way for the development of Mongolian-influenced carpets and rugs that are still seen today. Nevertheless, with a fantastic display of decorations, motifs and layout styles on the carpets, it could be said that if Persians were to realize the craft of weaving and knotting, Mongols were the first to weave the specimens related to the finest lot. After all, the art originated as a nomadic artisan-ship for the world to follow.