Which Rug Style Are You? Part II
The essential guide to choosing the right rug from the experts at Integral Thread
In part one of this series, we stressed the importance of choosing your rug as the first step in the design process and introduced readers to six rug styles among the wide variety available: Scandinavian, Mid-Century Modern, Contemporary/Abstract, Flatweave (including Kilim and Dhurry), Southwest and Transitional. Here, in part two, we continue with more options to help you determine which style is right for you.
Vintage rugs have surged in popularity over the last decade, and though the brightly colored over-dyed rugs have lost some traction, vintage, semi-antique and antique rugs are still greatly sought after. Having a piece of history in your home creates a beautiful aesthetic, is good for the environment, and gives your floor covering a story. Vintage rugs are roughly 20-50 years old, semi-antique are typically 50-80 years old, and true antique rugs are 80-100 years old.
We could write an article on Moroccan rugs alone with their deep history and vast array of styles, but here is simple breakdown to help you identify if Moroccan rugs are really the style you are looking for. Moroccan rugs are a type of handmade wool rug that originate from the Atlas Mountains in Morocco. The patterns and designs found on Moroccan rugs are often inspired by the natural environment and the cultural traditions of the people weaving them.
Common motifs include geometric shapes, diamonds, and other abstract designs. The designs can range from very intricate patterns to simple, larger scale geometric designs. The color palette of a Moroccan rug can be neutral, with shades of white, cream, and beige being the most common. You will also find very vibrant, colorfully dyed rugs as well. The pile tends to be a thick, shag wool, but if you are on the hunt for a vintage or antique Moroccan rug, you may come across Kilims as well.
This style of rug has become trendy in the design world, so there are many reproductions being made in thinner styles, modern variations and in different parts of the world. If you are looking for a true Moroccan rug, make sure the country of origin is Morocco.
Navajo rug weaving is a spiritual art form. The Navajo use various patterns for weaving, including geometric figures with squares, diamonds, crosses and zig-zag lines to depict the natural elements of mountains, lightening, and sacred deities. Diamond shapes represented the Four Corners of the ancestral homeland, while triangles symbolize everlasting life. Zig-zags are used to represent lightening. A cross with a hole in it, is used to represent Spider Woman, a spirit god who is believed to have taught the Navajo the craft of weaving by showing them how to work with the elements of sky, earth, sunlight, crystal, lightning and white shell. The hole in the cross is important because it was said to allow her spirit to travel between worlds.
Navajo rugs usually have a solid color border, though there are several rugs that do not feature a border such as Chinle, Wide Ruins and Crystal rugs. Although you may find many Navajo inspired reproductions, to be truly a Navajo rug, it must be woven by a Navajo tribe member. These rugs are all wool, tightly woven weft faced rugs made by hand in the Southwest of the United States.
Mountain Modern Style
This relatively new category of rug style pays homage to the rugged beauty of the natural world. They can feature deep, earthy colors or light and airy neutrals. The patterns can vary from tribally influenced geometrics to more simple, clean lines with lots of texture. The rugs create a cozy, inviting atmosphere and utilize natural materials, bringing the outdoors in.
Bohemian style rugs are globally inspired and have busier more artistic patterns with lack of structure. They typically are brightly colored, but can also present in muted tones. The design will feel more eclectic and random and often there are layers of pattern and texture and may call toward traditional patterns with a unique or unexpected colorful take.
Stephanie Holmes is the owner of Integral Thread, a creative design studio and showroom offering bespoke, hand-made rugs and textiles that are natural, sustainable, and ethically sourced. View their profile or visit their website for more information.
Content for this article provided by Integral Thread.