Designs of Element in Traditional Rugs
Almost all the significant designs on traditional oriental rugs are Persian designs, which have been adopted by other rug weavers throughout the period. Persian rugs, however, have adopted certain element of designs from other regions for different purposes.
During the early 19th century, Persian rugs became a commodity that had found its way to a new market in Europe and later on in North America. During that time some Iranian rug weavers adopted a policy of accommodating the western fashion taste. They started incorporating some of the western architectural element in their designs or weaving rugs with French Aubusson resins as well as incorporating some western floral patterns that became known as Golfarang or western floral.
There is one exception to the oriental rugs designs in terms of their origin. China indeed had its own distinct designs in their hand knotted oriental rugs. More open filed with floral Aubusson type borders, either with or without a medallion, as well as dragon designs in hand knotted oriental are original Chinese designs.
However, as the western market opened up for Persian hand knotted rugs, Chinese weavers moved towards adopting more and more of Persian motifs and designs.
Floral Persian designs themselves have much different variety of design combinations which will be separately discussed under hand knotted rug designs. What is important to keep in mind is that the rug weaving tradition have constantly influenced one another in designs, the use of color or dyeing techniques. Even within Persia itself different rug-making regions have had their impression on the neighboring regions while asserting their own identity elements.
Geometric Designs in Traditional Rugs
In terms of the broader categorization with respect to Traditional rug designs, two different types of designs are noteworthy which are known as floral designs and Geometric designs. Unlike floral designs which have smooth curves and turns and softer turns and circular and semicircular patterns, geometric designs have corner and sharp turns and angles in the motifs. Geometric designs are generally composed of geometric shapes combined together forming the motifs.
Even floral motifs in geometrics contain angled corners rather than smooth circular turns. Geometric designs in traditional rugs, although have their roots in the tribal rugs, have been one of the most popular designs in traditional rugs throughout the last 2oo years. The famous Heriz rugs and the finer version of Persian Heriz rugs known as Serapi rugs, with their marvels fine geometric designs, have gained popularity among western nations particularly in US and Europe starting with 19th century.
Traditional rug category may include Persian rugs, Turkish rugs, Afghani Rugs, Pakistani rugs, and Indian rugs. Each of these regions is consisted of many different subcategories such as Persian kashan rugs, Persian Kerman rugs, Persian Isfahan rugs, Persian Heriz rugs, Persian Serapi rugs, Persian Tabriz rugs, Persian Mashad rugs, Persian Naeen rugs, Indian Jaipur rugs, Persian and Indian Haji Jalili rugs, and many more.
Among the popular designs in the category of Traditional rugs are animal impressions and sceneries, Persian garden, mostly found in Kerman rugs and hunting sceneries. These designs and patterns have traditional names and have been around for centuries mostly with very minor modifications.
Colors in Traditional Rugs
Another distinct characteristic of Traditional rugs is the use of certain colors and color combinations. Some of the colors used in modern rugs or the combination of certain colors is what makes the traditional rugs different from the Modern or Transitional rugs.
The colors used in these Traditional rugs are very similar to each other. Some popular colors of choice include black, rusty red, navy blue, brown, white and maroon. Most traditional rugs have darker tone except they have been made for a particular purpose or especially commissioned by courts or certain individuals.