Besides making a stunning statement piece in a living space or lending a touch of traditionalism to a home's décor, Middle Eastern rugs possess a rich wealth of history, as vivid and detailed as their designs. From Islamic prayer rugs to ancient Torah parochets to handmade Persian rugs, each Middle Eastern rug is a window into a country’s unique culture and ancestry. Rugs like these are timeless, and they last a lifetime, making them the perfect addition to any home.
Middle Eastern rugs come in many colours, sizes, styles, and materials. It’s important to know what kind of rugs are out there before you start shopping around for your very own piece of the Persia.
Tribal rugs are traditional, handmade Persian rugs, consisting of bold colours and simple geometric patterns and designs. The Gabbeh rug is one of the most popular types of tribal rugs, known for their gloriously thick, handwoven wool pile and low knot count, as well as unique designs and interesting depictions of animals.
Town/city rugs offer a softer, silkier finish than other rugs from the Middle East, thanks to their high knot density. The Keshan rug is a well-known style of Iranian rug that features beautiful floral design elements and vibrant red and blue tones.
What makes Middle Eastern rugs stand out from other rugs and carpets on the market are their one-of-a-kind quality and unique attention to detail. When on the hunt for an authentic, handwoven rug, it’s essential to look at some of the finer details of an authentic, quality rug to ensure it is worth the investment.
Authentic, quality wool should feel smooth and slightly oily when you run your fingers through it due to the natural lubricant known as Lanolin found in wool. Avoid buying a rug if the thread feels dry and brittle, as it is unlikely to last very long and could be a cheap imitation.
If the rug has fringes at either end, the fringe tassels should be neatly trimmed and the ends securely fastened, otherwise the thread could unravel.
If you're not sure about the quality of your rug, just turn it over and look at the underside. An authentic Persian rug will have slight imperfections (such as uneven stitching) as the knots are crafted entirely by hand, making each design unique. If the pattern seems too good to be true, that's because it probably is!
Choosing the right Middle Eastern rug for your home can often be a tricky task and can entirely depend on your colour scheme, space available, lighting, and style of your room. Persian rugs, fortunately, come in a multitude of colours, often with accents of various other colours, tones, and shades, so you won’t have an issue finding a rug to harmonise with your background décor.
Those who prefer a minimalistic look with fewer furnishings and decorations may wish to embellish their bare wood floors with bountiful bursts of colour and endless seas of patterns. A brightly coloured Keshan rug with intricately woven patterns would make a great addition to a room in desperate need of some character.
If you want to create the illusion of a larger space, then a large Gabbeh rug can be your greatest accessory. Stripes or patterns parallel to long walls will visually widen a room, while lighter-coloured rugs will create an airy feeling.
Alternatively, to tone down some of the more exciting elements of your room, a neutral-toned Persian rug can provide some well-spaced balance.