Country Rugs Vs. City Rugs
Sometimes the best way to categorize a rug is not by which region it is from, but instead if it is made in the country or the city.
Country rugs have a reputation for using natural dyes and bold and geometric patterns that are unique to each community. Because the dyes are natural, country rug weavers often use less color in each rug. The age-old process started with nomadic tribes in Mongolia and Turkey, and continues today to define the cultural heritage of many countries throughout Asia and the Middle East.
The process may begin in a pasture where men shear the sheep. The wool is then spun and dyed, preferably using natural plants such as indigo, madder, pomegranates or oak.
The wool is then brought into villages where the women of extended families sit together around a loom and weave designs that are integral to their history, religion and way of life. Often children sit along side their aunts and mothers to learn this art. Designs of country rugs are often bold and geometric. When figures are used, they are hieroglyphic in appearance. Curvilinear patterns are not used as often.
Expert rug weavers in large cities make city rugs. Designs are usually made for selling purposes and are not as tied to tradition and community. These weavers are very talented and high-quality wool is used in their production. However, synthetic dyes are more likely to have been used to color the wool, which is a less desirable product for collectors. More colors and sophisticated patterns (often curvilinear) are found in city rugs, which is a desired trait for many other buyers.
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