Let's Talk Design...
I genuinely love learning the new ways that rugs are made. Behind each rug there is a story, behind the story there is a reflection of the culture and it's unique origin of where a particular piece is made. Upon marvelling at designs, there is a constant wonder about how much work and time was put into a rug whether it be as small as a 2x3 or as big as a 12x18. There are many different designs that differentiate every hand made piece, of what I like to call, artwork.
We broke down the different categories to give you a better idea upon purchasing or simply appreciating all of the handwork that is applied to the skill.
A field composition on a rug can be placed into seven different categories: repeat motif, all-over pattern, medallion, prayer, portrait, panel and open field.
Repeat motif rugs are decorated with a pattern that is repeated continuously throughout the field area. A great example of the repeat pattern is your typical Bukhara rugs that are made in Iran, Afghanistan, and Turkey.
The all-over pattern has a field that usually depicts a scene. The scene may depict a hunting and gathering design, garden design , or the notorious tree of life.
Then of course there is the medallion design rugs. These rugs are dominated by one or numerous medallions. The medallions range from style, shapes, and sizes, as well as elongated, geometric, round and oval.
Prayer rugs typically run smaller is size, usually 3x5 for easy transportation. They are woven mostly in Iran, Turkey, Afghanistan, Turkistan, and the Caucasus. The mihrub is the focal point of the rug which can be either curvilinear or rectilinear depending on where it was originally made.
The pictorial rugs are highly influenced by European paintings. Landscapes, portraits and emulations of kings and prominent leaders are usually displayed.
Paneled rugs are spread out into compartments that vary in shape from diamonds, rectangles, or squares. Accompanied by the shape are different elements such as stars, trees, flowers or geometrics.
The open field design is exactly what is is---an open field. There is no center medallion or a pictorial design, it simply is open to the eye. Often times the open field is surrounded by an elaborate border. Chinese Art Deco rugs usually dominate the open field leaving you with more of a subtle look.
These brief descriptions regarding each of the categories gives you a better idea of the rug making process. Next time you look at a rug you will hopefully know which categorical design it falls into.