Types of Oriental Rugs: A Detailed Guide

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There are many different types of Oriental rugs. Certain rug types evolve due to characteristics like where they were created, how they were created, and/or what their designs look like.

Read below to learn more about the different types of Oriental rugs, and learn which type of Oriental rug fits your style and budget the best.

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Types of Oriental Rugs plus characteristics of each

Chobi Ziegler

Chobi Ziegler rugs are a traditional style of Oriental rug known for their muted color scheme and soft yet classic designs. The words “Chobi Ziegler” carry significance: “Chobi” is a Persian word for “wood” (describing the rugs’ natural, rustic colors) and “Ziegler” is the name of the German company that originally helped create the rug style in the 1880s.

Chobi Ziegler rugs are considered high in quality, but are more moderately priced ($45-$60 per square foot) among the upper tier of Oriental rugs. This is due the fact that Chobi Ziegler rugs typically have lower knot counts than, for example, Persian rugs.

Persian rugs

Persian rugs are Oriental rugs which have been hand-woven in Iran (formerly known as Persia). Persian rugs are one of the oldest, most respected, and traditional types of Oriental rugs. They often feature classic motifs – like husks, pomegranates, flowers, jugs, crosses, combs, and lotuses -- and traditional colors like blue, red, brown, beige, and gold.

Persian rugs are usually considered the highest-quality Oriental rugs in the world, and feature high knot counts. Thus, they’re usually priced higher ($50 to $70+ per square foot)

Ikat rugs

Ikat rugs are named after their design, which is one of the oldest known designs in the world. The famous Ikat pattern surfaced in ancient cultures from Peru to Japan to India and Yemen. The Ikat design is sort of tribal-looking, with abstract, tie-dye like features – in fact, Ikat rugs have a unique dying and overdying process that gives them more color variation and depth than other Oriental rugs.

Some Ikat motifs have historical significance whereas others are purely aesthetic. Many Ikat designs have diamond or triangle shapes repeated in loose lines. Ikat rugs are typically lower in knot count (7/7 or so) and thus priced lower (around $45-$55 per square foot) than higher knot count rugs.

Bokhara rugs

Similar to Persian rugs, Bokhara rugs are defined by where they were created. Bukhara, located in modern-day Uzbekistan, is a historic rug-producing town with a signature style. The Bokhara design usually features classic colors of red, navy, and brown, and incorporates oval-shaped motifs and a sparser background than other Oriental rugs.

Although Bokhara rugs are still produced in the Bukhara area, they’re also produced across the world and called “Bokhara” or a variation of such. Unlike most Oriental rugs which feature perfectly symmetrical knot counts (such as 7/7 or 9/9), many Bokhara rugs feature asymmetrical knot counts (such as 9/14). Bokhara rugs can range in price depending on their knot count.

Flat Weave Kilims

Kilims rugs are notable for their unique linear design, bold colors, and flat weave character. The word “Kilims” comes from the Persian term “gelim,” which means “spreading roughly.”

Indeed, the texture of Kilims rugs is less plush than more traditional Oriental rugs. The flat weave character of Kilims rugs makes them notably thin and light. The Kilims designs are usually geometric, relying on straight lines, squares, and rectangles to fill the entire rug canvas. Kilims rugs typically feature bold, dark colors like red, navy, deep gold, and forest green.

Modern and vogue rugs

Modern and vogue rugs mix contemporary styles and colors with traditional, hand-knotted quality. These types of rugs are created with Western consumers in mind. Although their appearance is in line with modern designs and styles, the way in which these rugs are created is traditional. Thus, modern and vogue Oriental rugs have a very plush, natural texture and long-lasting quality.

Vogue rugs, which (like their name suggests) are created with the most modern styles in mind, generally have lower knot counts (5/5), whereas modern rugs are a bit more classic in design and higher in knot count (7/7 to 9/9).

Overdyed rugs

Overdyed rugs are defined solely by their dyeing process. To create an overdyed rug, rug artists take an existing Oriental rug (of any style, but typically one that has been distressed or altered in some way) and re-dye it in a bold, single color. Overdying is a wonderful way to “resurrect” older Oriental rugs and give them a modern, stylish edge. Overdyed rugs are often crafted in bold colors like fuchsia, teal, black, and red. Overdyed rugs can range in price, depending on the knot count and quality of the rug.

Silk rugs

Silk rugs contain a portion of silk in them. The higher the percentage of silk woven into a silk rug, the higher it’s valued. Silk rugs have an extremely soft, plush texture and beautiful sheen; however, their delicate silk fibers are more difficult to care for than traditional wool. For this reason (and because silk is very expensive to source), most “silk” rugs are made of a silk/wool or silk/cotton blend. Silk rugs are generally more expensive because of their silk fibers.

Patchwork rugs

Patchwork rugs are defined by how they’re crafted. The patchwork process involves hand-stitching a number of existing Oriental rugs together, usually with thick, vibrantly colored thread. Similar to the reason why overdyed rugs are created, patchwork rugs are a great way to re-invent older or damaged Oriental rugs.

By piecing together the best parts of a number of different Oriental rugs, rug producers are able to create a unique, high-quality product. The homespun character and bold look of patchwork rugs have made them popular with Western consumers in recent years.

Want to learn more about the different types of Oriental rug styles? Feel free to visit our RugKnots website.


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  • I am trying to identify 3 rugs that were given to me.

    sherry on

  • I have a rug from Iran with a hand sewn tag Iran 1911 The colors are blue the rug is in excellent condition. I’d like to sell it. Where would I find the best place to sell

    Tim Mccue on

  • I am trying to find out which type of carpet I have. (Was handed down to me) Can you assist me with that at all?

    Sharon on

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