Anatolian rugs are some of the most beautiful and intricate rugs in the world. Hailing from the Anatolian region of Turkey, these rugs are known for their unique patterns and rich colors. Unlike other types of rugs, Anatolian rugs are made entirely by hand. The wool is hand-spun and dyed, and the knots are tied by hand ensuring that the rug will last for generations to come.
While the exact origin of rug-making remains uncertain, carpet weaving in Anatolia was already considered a high art during the 16th century, during the Ottoman Empire. The most prized Anatolian rugs were made with silk or wool pile on a cotton foundation, and they featured complex geometric designs. These rugs were often used as decorative hangings in mosques and palaces.
As the Ottoman Empire began to decline in the 18th century, so did the production of Anatolian rugs. However, there was a resurgence in interest in these beautiful rugs in the late 19th century, when European diplomats and travelers brought back rugs from their travels in the East, which quickly became a status symbol among Europe's elite, and they remain highly coveted to this day.
Anatolian rugs are produced in five distinct regions: Konya, Usak (Oushak), Kirkkilise, Afyon, and Milas.
Oushak rugs also known as Usak Rugs are probably the most popular among Turkish Rugs and are known for their bright colors and bold designs. Common motifs used in Oushak rugs include medallions, flowers, and animals. These rugs are usually made with a wool pile on a cotton foundation. Usak rugs come in a variety of sizes, but they are typically smaller than Konya rugs.
Rugs from the Konya region are characterized by their large size and geometric designs. The most popular motifs used in Konya rugs are diamonds and lozenges. These Anatolian rugs are typically made with wool pile on a cotton foundation, and they often have multiple colors in their designs.
Kirkkilise rugs are characterized by their muted colors and traditional designs. The most popular motifs used in Kirkkilise rugs are stars, crosses, and stepped diamonds. These rugs are usually made with wool pile on a linen foundation. Kirkkilise rugs come in a variety of sizes, but they tend to be smaller than Usak and Konya rugs.
Afyon rugs are known for their vibrant colors and modern designs. Afyon has become increasingly popular in recent years due to its production of contemporary designs that incorporate abstract and geometric motifs. These rugs are made with wool pile on a cotton foundation and come in a variety of sizes.
Milas rugs come in a wide range of colors and designs. However, they are all united by two common features: a high quality of craftsmanship and a silk foundation. Milas is the only region where silk is used for Anatolian rug production. This makes Milas rugs some of the most expensive on the market. However, their beauty and durability make them well worth the investment.