The Architecture of the Carpet

Section One

Just as in a true architectural plan, tile carpets layout consists of diagrams on  which the decoration is laid out, the drawings composed and the decoratingotifs selected. These are all ancient systems, arranged and set by tradition
and therefore considered classical; however, they have always been kept alive and are used for modern carpets as well. Tile layouts can be directional, non directional or centralized.

Directional layouts
Directional layouts are arranged according to a single axis of symmetry and thus give a direction to the carpet, since they are meant to be looked at from one direction only. Certain carpets that depict animals and gardens
(called “figural” carpets) and carpets that repeat a single unchanging decorative motif across the entire field but with a direction, such as the buteh, have this structure. The most eloquent examples are prayer rugs. Prayer rugs
serve the practical purpose of helping the faithful Muslim to orient his position therefore his prayer, toward Mecca. For this reason, the field is dominated by the design of a niche, or mihrab, in a given direction, inside which the Muslims kneels, placing his head on the top of the arch and his hands on the corners.

Non directional layouts
Non directional carpets may be viewed from any direction, since the design is not directed toward any one point, no parts of it stand out and it is formed by continuous elements or by self-enclosed, equal motifs that are repeated continuously to fill the entire field. Most of the compositions known as full-field are of this type. They are very regular and their decoration is
formed by unchanging, repeating motifs arranged in perpendicular or diagonal rows or by continuous designs, which, in turn, form grids or endless scrolls. This type of layout is typical of the arabesque carpets, where the
decoration is formed by a ribbon of changing shape that extends regularly across the entire field.

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