Different styles of carpet

Different styles of carpet

Map of design and colors drawn on paper used as a guide to weave a rug. Acolored drawing on graph paper, that a weaver follows to craft a rug design. The design of the carpet coincides with the way in which the layout and decorative motifs are interpreted and composed. The methods are many and vary according to geographic area and center of production. However, all designs are expressed following two primary languages – the geometric style and the floral style. The two styles differ in the type of line used. The first uses straight lines, while the second uses curved lines, which is why it is alsoknown as the curvilinear style.

The geometric style

The geometric style is typically, though not always, created by using symmetrical knots, their regular shape producing straight lines. The style, therefore, consists of abstract or stylized figures (ultimately derived from the natural world) distributed equally across the carpet space. The final product has an immediate, spontaneous, often primitive character that reflects a rather simple organization of labor. In fact, carpets in this style were manufactured primarily by small artisans and nomadic tribes, the latter using primitive horizontal looms with designs handed down orally from generation togeneration. So it is no coincidence that the first carpets, like the Pazyryk specimen, were made in the geometric style. This style was widely used in all areas, but especially in Anatolia, the Caucasus and Central Asia.

The floral (or curvilinear,) style

More recent than the geometric style, the floral style was most probably born in the 15th century and was further refined in Persia during the 16th century. It normally makes use of asymmetrical knots (but again, this is not a rule), which, being smaller, form even the finest curved lines; this facilitates the creation of complex designs of arabesques and naturalistic, or lifelike, floral elements, which often include human and animal figures. Floral-style carpets are therefore complex and detailed. They are the result of the new development of an equally complex organization of labor with a separation of the planning and execution stages of carpet making. The planning was assigned to the master designer (usually a miniaturist, called ustad in Persian), and the execution was left to the woman weaver or, more often, to the workshop team of men weavers, since the labor force also changed during this period. The birth of this style brought about the introduction of models of the carpet’s design; the squared cartoons and the vaghireh. Geographically speaking, the floral style finds its highest expression in the carpet from Persia.

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