Antique Turkish Rugs Overview

Turkish carpets and rugs, whether hand knotted or flat woven (Kilim, Soumak, Cicim, Zili), are among the most well known and established hand crafted art works in the world.[1] Historically: religious, cultural, environmental, sociopolitical and socioeconomic conditions created widespread utilitarian need and have provided artistic inspiration among the many tribal peoples and ethnic groups in Central Asia and Turkey.[2] The term tends to cover not just the products of the modern territory of Turkey, but also those of Turkic peoples living elsewhere, mostly to the east of Anatolia.

Apparently originating in the traditions of largely nomadic Turkic peoples, the Turkish carpet, like the Persian carpet, developed during the medieval Seljuk period a more sophisticated urban aspect, produced in large workshops for commissions by the court and for export. The many styles of design reached maturity during the early Ottoman Empire, and most modern production, especially for export, looks back to the styles of that period. Turkish (also known as Anatolian) rugs and carpets are made in a wide range of distinct styles originating from various regions in Anatolia. Important differentiators between these styles may include: the materials, construction method, patterns and motif, geography, cultural identity and intended use.