European Rugs


The art of rug making was introduced in Europe, through Spain during the ruling period of Muslim moors, in the thirteenth century. In ancient times, European rugs had the strong influence from oriental designs, Turkish motifs and patterns. Overtime, European rugs developed their own designs such as baroque drawings.

Types of European rugs:

French rugs:

France started producing hand knotted rugs in the sixteenth century, inspired by Turkish carpets. Using Turkish carpets as their models, these European rugs were knotted with symmetrical Turkish knots. In the first years of the 16th century, French rugs production started in Savonnerie – a closed soap factory, outside of Paris. In the middle of the 17th century French rugs production, began in the city of Aubusson. In the last period of the 17th century French rugs manufacturing started in Beauvais. According to this historical background French rugs can be divided in three classes:

  1. Savonnerie rugs
  2. Aubusson rugs
  3. Beauvais rugs

Savonnerie rugs

Ancient Savonnerie carpets were designed with floral arrangements, such as flowers in vases or baskets, densely massed flowers in bouquets, armorial framed medallions, and military motifs, as well as architectural motifs against deep blue, black or brown background. Modern Savonneries are depicted with exquisite floral motifs, curvilinear motifs. These modern European rugs are appealing for their exquisite color nuances, shading, delicately colored fields, and rich variety of tonal color variation.

Aubusson rugs

These European rugs are elegantly designed and look very much like a renaissance masterpiece. The majority of Aubusson French rugs contain  floral medallions with curvilinear floral borders and soft pastel colors. It is a flat woven rug with no pile.

Beauvais rugs

These rugs are tightly woven on a thick pile.



Spanish carpets:

These European rugs have a different type of knot known as the Spanish knot, which is quite different from senneh or ghiordes knots. Unlike other knots, the Spanish knot loops around warps that are taken alternatively in a row of warps. Antique Spanish rugs are – Spanish armorial rugs and Spanish Holbein rugs. Designs and Motifs of Spanish rugs have a great influence of Islamic designs in combination with European motifs. In these days Spanish rugs are expensive and of high quality. Present Spanish rugs have the influence of Persian, Anatolian, Moroccan and modern European style.

English carpets:

The art of carpet weaving was introduced in England in the 16th century. Initially the hand knotted English wool carpets were designed with the influence of Indo Persian and Anatolian styles. From the 17th century carpet manufacturing started in full swing in Axminster and Kidderminster. From this manufacturing background, two different types of English carpets had arrived – Axminster carpet and Wilton carpet.

Axminster carpets

In the 17th century Axminster carpets were hand knotted on a wool pile and designed with classical renaissance motifs, architectural and floral motifs. In the 18th century Adam designs became very popular in the Axminster carpets. The Adam designs were introduced by a famous architect named Robert Adam, these designs included architectural patterns like columns, pediments, architraves, trophies compartments, plaster work of the ceiling, Roman floor mosaics, fans, and garlands. In these days Axminster carpets are highly demandable for their high quality weaving technique, which includes weaving of the pile and backing material together in a single operation. Due to this weaving technique, complex designs can be depicted precisely on this European rugs. Modern Axminster rugs feature bouquet patterns, traditional European motifs, oriental designs, influences from Islamic designs and a variety of exotic patterns and designs from Persia.

Wilton carpets

European rugs are characterized by their distinctive weaving process that leads to thick, dense, strong and soft pile with a smooth velvety finish. At first the designs have a strong influence from Persian carpets but in these Wilton carpets have got their distinctive and original designs and patterns. This Wilton carpets use wool as the pile.




Irish Donegal rugs:

Antique Donegal rugs are hand knotted made from wool. These European rugs are highly appealing for their divine colors and awesome combination of Celtic and oriental designs.

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