Over the years, the art of weaving improved, and many everyday items were woven in the kilim style: saddle bags for horses and camels, blankets, room dividers, and baby cradles. These many types of woven products evolved and improved as time went by. In an effort to create a more plush and comfortable rug, weavers started to add pile to the basic flatweaves.
Another type of flatweave rug is known as a soumak. It is handwoven like a kilim, but is then embroidered on top of the weaving. Like kilims and pile carpets, its designs give each one special meaning.
While it's unknown exactly when and where the first knotted-pile carpets were woven, one of the oldest was discovered in the Altai mountains of Siberia near the northeastern border of Mongolia and was carbon dated to have been from the 5th century B.C. This Pazyryk, or Altai, carpet is sophisticated in design, showing that it is the product of a long tradition of skilled weaving.
Oriental rugs are made from five basic materials; sheep wool, goat hair, cotton, floss silk (mercerized cotton), and silk. Fine Oriental carpets are made with natural dyes obtained from plants, berries and trees. Chemical dyes are also used, but to the trained eye they don't have the beauty or luster of the natural dyes. Natural dyes mainly come from plants such as indigo, hackberry, saffron, pomegranate, thyme, chamomile, walnut, madder root and buckthorn.
For info on caring for Turkish rugs, see: http://www.textilemuseum.org/care/brochures/storing.htm