Hand knotted Oushak rugs: what are they? For which homes are they the ideal solution?Design — Materials and techniques — May 20.2023
Today we will discuss hand knotted Oushak rugs. These are textile artefacts that represent one of the highlights of Anatolian production. While they were originally carpets reserved for sultans and noble families, today they are considered one of the highest expressions of Turkish carpet elegance .
They are typically made from a wool yarn and are knotted with great care to create intricate designs that immediately catch the eye for their refined beauty.
What is the history of Oushak carpets?
Hand knotted Oushak rugs, also known as Ushak, are one of the most famous and valuable handicraft products of the Turkish textile industry. Originally woven in the city of Ushak in the Western Anatolia region of Turkey, these artefacts began to spread from the late 15th century, during the Ottoman Empire.
An Oushak carpet is distinguished from other patterns made in Asia by the softness of its fibres and its fine, smooth weave. These characteristics make it perfect for use in rooms of the home where a warm and soft carpet is needed, such as bedrooms.
Specifically, traditional hand knotted Oushak rugs are made of wool and are produced using the classic Turkish symmetrical knot . The combination of these elements results in strong and durable carpets.
Typical Oushak carpets have a beige or brown base with floral motifs in warm tones such as orange, red, blue and green. The composition of these motifs can vary, but generally include large flowers, braids and leaves.
From the very beginning, hand knotted Oushak rugs have been regarded as very valuable products, so much so that their production was reserved for the nobility and the sultan’s family.
Even today, these carpets are still considered to be among the most valuable artefacts from Turkey, and their refined aesthetics make them a perfect solution for those wishing to decorate elegant and refined surroundings such as villas and luxury homes.
What are the characteristics of hand knotted Oushak rugs?
The design of Oushak carpets features various traditional and symbolic decorative elements that tell a great deal about Anatolian history and culture. One of the most characteristic elements of Oushak patterns and the identification of this type of carpet is the presence of a band of clouds along the edge. Other decorations frequently found on these hand-knotted carpets are geometric or stylised figures.
In terms of styles, there are star-shaped Oushak carpets, with decorative motifs repeated symmetrically along the entire surface of the carpet, and models with medallion decorations, whose intricate patterns recall those typical of Persian carpets and are characterised by the presence of flowers, arabesques and geometric motifs.
The vivid, bold colours that characterise hand knotted Oushak rugs are well suited to classically furnished rooms. As they are textiles in which there is a strong colour contrast between the main decorative elements and the background of the carpet, they can also be used in rooms with a more modern décor, precisely when one wants to impress by introducing decorations that create a strong contrast with the rest of the room.
In hand knotted Oushak rugs, the fibres are knotted very close together and the result is a product with a very solid and durable structure. These carpets can enrich the décor of various rooms in the home, including the busiest ones. The rooms in which it is best to place an Oushak carpet are, however, the bedroom and living room. In both of these areas of the home it is possible to admire the beauty of the decorative motifs and appreciate the softness of the wool used in the handmade production.
How can hand knotted Oushak rugs be used to enhance furniture?
Oushak carpets are very versatile and can be used in many different ways. They are an elegant and sophisticated addition to any room in the home.
Since Oushak carpets are made in bold colours, the best way to make them stand out is to combine them with furnishings of subdued design and colours. In the living room, for example, an Oushak carpet can be placed at the foot of a sofa in a neutral colour such as beige or grey. To strengthen the connection between the carpet and the furniture, cushions with colours or patterns that recall those used for the carpet can be added.
In the bedroom, a large Oushak rug can be placed under the bed, or smaller rugs, perhaps in the typical prayer rug format, can be used as bedside rugs.
Another room in the home where hand knotted Oushak rugs are perfect is the study. In this case, a smaller model can be used in the area occupied by the desk, bringing out the colours and designs of the carpet through the use of warm lighting, which gives the room a “soft” and cosy atmosphere.
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