There are many ways that rugs are classified and categorised; some people buy rugs using colour and pattern choices, helpfully displayed by The Rug Retailer.
Other people prefer to buy rugs in patterns, designs and colours created in certain areas of the world, from the chic designs of France to the intricate and rich patterns of long-ago Persia, there are many ways to choose the perfect rug.
Another option is to look at those rugs made in the country, and those created in the city. You wouldn’t think that there was such a difference between those rugs created in a rural and urban setting but there difference in pattern design and colour schemes. Which one do you favour?
The Country Rug
The country rug has a reputation for using natural dyes and colours, coupled with bold and geometric design patterns. These patterns can be distinctive to the community from where they came, a way of a community ‘telling its story’, creating its own unique spot in the world of design, much like the difference colours and design of tartan in Scotland.
Natural dyes means that less colour tends to be used in these rugs, so if you are looking for heavily dyed rugs, the country rug may not appeal. This process of natural dyes dates back to the very earliest days of rug weaving with the nomadic tribes of Turkey and Mongolia. Today, this process continues in the many heritages and cultural groups in Asia and Middle East.
This process began with the shepherd shearing the sheep in the meadows, with the wool then being hand spun and dyed, using only natural plants that were available across the plains. Imagine using the colours of indigo, madder, pomegranate and oak!
This wool was then taken to the villages within the communities, where the women of the families- an extended members if needed – would sit together around a loom, weaving designs. The romance of imagining these women sitting, talking, laughing and crying together over family stories and history, each part of their lives and pasts weaved into a rug.
The skills and know-how were passed down through the generations, with the children sitting at the knees o these women, listening to the stories and watching the delicate process of creating a stunning piece of art. Bold and geometric, some of these patterns also included human figures, usually depicted in hieroglyphic form.
The design of country rugs is also dictated by the material used; cotton is less elastic than wool, hence these tugs tend to be straighter and flatter than a wool rug.
The Urban Rug
People have congregated in ever increasing communities, often becoming large, sprawling cities and there was a difference in why rugs were made.
Unlike their country counterparts who created things for their own use, urban rugs were created with commerce in mind. Tied less to tradition, religion, culture, community and ways of life, the urban rug was about selling, making a profit and a living.
Thus, urban rugs tend to be brighter in colours and pattern, and pay homage to the designs, as well as the likes and dislikes that the punter enjoyed at various times; in other words, whatever was ‘in fashion’ at the time. Elaborate in pattern, the colours included could be up to 10 different hue and shades, unlike the country rug that may include less than 5.
However, none of this should detract from the talent and skill, as well as high quality wool that are part of rugs created in the cities. Synthetic dyes were used, as opposed to natural ones and these affected the price for those ardent collectors.
Still made with passion, care, love and a huge amount of attention to detail, people created these rugs with dedication and skills. They were designed by people, created by artisans and enjoyed by many.
The final word…
Both of these styles of rugs can offer your home so much. For those looking for, and favouring muted colours, the country rug has the style and colour palette you are looking for.
For those looking for a vibrant rug, the synthetic colours in the intricately designed and patterned city rug could be the answer.
In terms of their pedigree, there is nothing that separates these two style or category of rug; both are created with skill, both harness the romance of the past and both are desired by so many in their home.
The final word is really down to you; which one would you opt for?