Oriental Rug Classification

Oriental carpets or rugs are usually classified by their country of origin. There are also artistic and technical categories which start from designs woven from memory (tribal) and progress to those with exact written or drawn instructions (court). These classifications areas follows:

Tribal weavings such as the Persian Qashqai, are made for home use: for the tent, bags, gifts, weddings and to decorate animals. Collectors consider them primitive or naïve art.

Village or Cottage industry rugs are woven mainly by women working from home and will generally be variations on designs passed down the generations or adapted to current trends. An example is the Persian Bakshaish located between Tabriz and Heriz in North-west Persia.

City workshop carpets have intricate designs and are often termed decorative art. Specialists are involved at each stage of production. An example is the Persian Kashan.

Court carpets were woven for the Islamic Court in the 16th and 17th centuries. A fine example of the Persian Ardebil is exhibited at the Victoria and Albert Museum.

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