Peruvian Connection: Christmas in Mexico

Turkish Rugs. Mystical and Magnificent Turkish Rugs. Mystical and Magnificent

Oriental rug design and weaving represents one of the world's oldest and richest textile traditions. Its artistry and enduring beauty has been the subject of admiration and inspiration for hundreds of years. Turkish and other Eurasian rugs and textiles have been the inspiration behind many of Peruvian Connection's knitwear designs.

The art of weaving was thought to have started in Central Asia. The inhabitants of the area were forced to migrate to the western parts of Asia in order to find more prosperous land. These nomadic tribes were exposed to severe weather conditions during their migrations. To protect themselves from the elements, they learned to use goat hair to weave durable, waterproof tents. Eventually, they applied the same flatweave techniques used in their tents to block the humidity of their earthen floors, creating the first kilim rugs.

Kilims were not created just for meeting people's physical needs but also to express messages and religious beliefs. Most of the early flatweave designs reflected stylized depictions of pagan symbols. The language of the kilims not only indicates the skill of the weaver but also tells a story through the motifs that are used.

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:

Grain Grain represents abundance
Ram's Horn The ram's horn denotes fertility
Hairband The hairband expresses the yearning of a young woman to get married.
Hands on Hips The symbol of hands on hips represents motherhood.
Turkish Kilim Alpaca Kimono Pima Cotton Anatolia Cardigan  	 Handknit Pima Cotton Tribal Wrap Cardigan
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