Whether you’re looking for a vintage Turkish rug to add an inspired design element to your nursery or bedroom, or a new area carpet to tie your living room together, these woven beauties offer a fresh, bohemian flair that can enhance your home. But how do you know what to look for in a real handcrafted rug that has been aged for that perfect aesthetic? There are some important clues to keep an eye out for!
A real antique rug will have the word “hand-knotted” or “handwoven” in its description. It will also contain natural dyes that have been hand-spun from wool or cotton. These are the clues that indicate you’re getting a vintage rug from a reputable seller and will be authentic.
The history of vintage turkish rugs begins with the Seljuk empire in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries. After that, the original Ottomans began to rule and trade between Asia and Europe flourished. This is when some of the best-known vintage turkish rugs were created and even featured in Renaissance paintings.
When the Safavids took over Persia in the sixteenth century, rug production experienced a number of aesthetic changes in style and design. The Persian tradition was brought to the West during this period and a tremendous Oriental revival emerged. The vintage turkish rugs from this time, featuring a variety of Persian symbols and designs, became highly prized by interior designers.
During this time, the rug weaving techniques of Turkey and Persia were influenced by tribal traditions from the Caucasus, Central Asia and the Balkans. This diversity of cultural influences is what creates the incredible range of styles that we see in vintage turkish rugs today.
Weaving continues to evolve and, while many weavers are still influenced by their cultural heritage, others reinterpret those traditional patterns in modern terms. Some of these designs are very similar to the original antique Turkish rugs, while others use bolder ornamentation and geometric motifs that are more in keeping with contemporary taste.
If you’re on the hunt for an authentic vintage turkish rug, the best place to start is with Etsy. There, you can find everything from vintage Oushak rugs to antique Anatolian rugs. Just type “Vintage Turkish Rugs” into the search bar, and add 2 filters: 1. Free Shipping & 2. The max price that you want to spend. This will narrow down your selection and give you the best results. From there, just browse through the results and look for the rug that speaks to you. Once you’ve found it, make sure to grab it before it sells!