The Beauty & Significance of Turkish Rugs

The Beauty & Significance of Turkish Rugs

Home is where the vintage Turkish rugs are - at least in our opinion. These one-of-a-kind pieces bring warmth and character that can take any space from basic to inspirational. Not only are they beautiful, but the quality construction means they can easily become heirloom pieces that last for generations.

Are you ready to elevate your home’s interior with one of these exceptional rugs? Here’s why one of these unique carpets will be the perfect piece for your space. 

Why Turkish Rugs?

Unlike commercially-made rugs bought in department stores, the quality and uniqueness of authentic Turkish carpets are unmatched - even compared to handmade rugs from other regions.

The unique knotting system places Turkish rugs in a category all their own. The Turkish knot, also known as the symmetrical knot or Ghiordes knot, creates a strong, consistent pile (the length of the fiber loop). The consistency of the pile lends itself to a thicker rug that will be durable enough to withstand heavy traffic. 

While the intricacy and enduring quality of the knot make Turkish rugs desirable, our favorite aspect is knowing that each piece of yarn is meticulously woven by an artisan who mastered a technique that's been shared for centuries. The patterns and colors are chosen to tell a story that will live on with those who value their craft.

Turkish rugs retain their value and integrity, making them a treasured addition to any home.

More Reasons to Choose Turkish Rug

It’s no secret that we love an authentic piece of art like a Turkish rug, but there are reasons beyond the culture, quality, and uniqueness that make these carpets superior in many ways. When choosing a rug, consider what its made from and how its made. 

Natural Fiber Rugs vs. Synthetic Rugs

Rugs are either crafted from natural or synthetic fibers. 

Natural fibers are found in nature, including wool, cotton, silk, jute, and sisal. Since no chemicals are used during production, these materials are more environmentally friendly than manufactured synthetic alternatives. Carpets made from natural fibers are incredibly durable and can last for decades when cared for properly.  

While there are many reasons to choose natural fiber rugs, it’s important to note that they tend to be more expensive and often require professional cleaning. We’re looking at you, silk!

Synthetic fibers, such as polypropylene, nylon, polyester, acrylic, and art silk, are generally made through chemical processes, making them easier to mass produce and, therefore, less expensive. While we can appreciate a good savings, the manufacturing of these rugs is more harmful to the environment and the heirloom quality just isn’t there.

Handmade Rugs vs. Machine-Made Rug 

At first glance, it may not be easy to distinguish between handmade and machine-made rugs, but there’s a significant difference in construction. 

Hand-knotted and hand-woven rugs are made from natural materials. Since artisans create these rugs, each is unique, and the quality will vary depending on the skill of the craftsman, knot count, quality of yarn, and dyes used. 

Handmade carpets typically cost more, but when crafted by an experienced weaver, they can be appreciated for generations.

Machine-made rugs are created by looms that are run by computers, using either wool or synthetic fibers. Because of this automation, machine-made rugs can be perfectly and identically mass-produced.

We always recommend looking at the back of the carpet to distinguish between the two. A hand-knotted rug will have some variation within each piece, and the fringe will typically be part of the rug’s foundation. A machine-made carpet will be uniform, and any trim is generally sewn on.

If you’re going for something unique, handmade rugs cannot be beat. 

Finding the Perfect Size

Finding the right size rug is critical when choosing a piece for your room. Too small, and your space will look incomplete and sparse. Too large, and the rug can overwhelm the room, making it seem smaller. 

Since authentic Turkish rugs are all handcrafted, finding an exact size can be difficult. If you fall in love with a pattern that’s not your ideal dimensions, you can try layering your favorite vintage rug over a natural jute or cotton flatweave rug. We also love the look of multiple mini rugs used together to fill a larger space.

The Meaning Behind Rug Patterns & Motifs

While we always want our rugs to be beautiful, we love when there’s a deeper meaning. Turkish rugs tell stories through their various patterns and motifs. Let’s explore some of the symbolism commonly seen in these works of art. 

Su Yolu (Running Water)

Running water is an important motif, usually incorporated into the border of a rug. Without water, life cannot exist, so Su Yolu symbolizes life and its continuation from generation to generation. 

Nazarlik (Evil Eye)

Traditionally seen in blue, white, and black, this symbol protects its owner from the “evil eye” by deflecting negative energy and bad luck. 

Hook or “S” Motif

The hook symbolizes strong relationships and protection against the evil eye. This pattern typically appears on borders or in the center of a piece.

Yildiz (Star)

Stars can carry different meanings. Some experts claim they denote happiness, while others see them as symbols of brain power and illumination. These ancient designs, especially the eight-pointed star called Solomon’s Star or Mohammed’s Jewel, could also depict spiritual revelation. 

Elibelinde (Hands on Hips)

Symbolizing life and birth, the Elibelinde is a powerful symbol for the nomadic women who make these pieces. Often appearing as a single or mirrored image in fields and borders, this figure is often related to a fertility goddess. She denotes fertility and the sacred duties of giving birth, caring for, and protecting children. Woven into a kilim or rug, this figure can also represent the desire of the weaver for the birth of a child. 

Kus (Bird Motifs)

Birds carry the meaning of both life and the afterlife. Birds that fly from the tree of life are said to be souls ascending into heaven, while the vulture signifies the soul of the dead. 

The eagle, represented by an eagle’s wing, rules the sky through power and height. The eagle symbol offers protection to people. 

A goose foot inside a triangle or circle symbolizes good luck. Each of the three toes represents one aspect of the divine trio—fertility, Productivity, and Holiness. 

Birds are also seen as a symbol of health in life. 

Insan (Human Figures)

A stylized representation of humans in woven pieces may represent the artist, a family member, or a loved one. These symbols are often associated with the expectation of a child. 

Akrep (Scorpion)

Scorpions were a threat to nomads due to their painful and deadly sting. Weavers used the symbol for protection, believing a real scorpion would not approach a carpet with its own representation. 

It can also be considered a symbol of pride and liberty. 

Hayat agaci (Tree of Life)

The Tree of Life symbolizes immortality or life after death. 

Ejder (Dragon)

The Ejder was a sacred animal of the sky, forest, sea, and mountain believed to live in every region and climate. It symbolizes power and force due to its ability to breathe fire. The dragon is also a symbol of fertility. 

Hair Band

Hair Bands are a traditional wedding ornament and symbolize a desire for marriage.

Kupe (Earrings)

Earrings represent the wish to marry, as they were often given as wedding gifts.

Kocboynuzu (Ram’s Horn)

The ram’s horn represents masculinity, male fertility, power, and heroism.

Women who weaved this motif hoped their husbands would be strong and their strength would withstand the test of time.

Find the Perfect Rug at The Elevated Abode

A Turkish rug is more than a place to wipe your feet or cover for a hard surface. They’re artfully crafted pieces of someone’s story that bring elevated style and charm to your home.

We carefully curate our collection of hand-knotted rugs from a network of Turkish artisans and vendors to bring beautiful pieces to those who share our passion for these unique works of art. 

Since our selection is built on our international relationships, we can offer the highest quality at competitive prices.

If you’re ready to bring a one-of-a-kind rug into your home, shop The Elevated Abode.

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