Knot For Everyone

When I was growing up, my parents had wall-to-wall carpeting.  It had a nice clean look to it and did not detract from the patterns on the upholstered furniture, drapes and wallpaper.  Growing up into adulthood, I thought wall-to-wall was the way to go.  Why on earth would someone want area rugs when they could have wall-to-wall?  And then something happened to me.  I don’t know if it was watching reruns of old movies like “Arabian Nights”, and “Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves” or admiring Omar Shariff’s tent in the movie “Hildago”…. but my taste in rugs has definitely changed over time.

Screenshot of Omar Shariff in Hildago

Screenshot of Omar Shariff in the movie “Hildago”

Not only did I want Oriental and Persian rugs covering my hardwood floors, I wanted rugs hanging on the walls, draped over tables, covering pillows and even on my bed.  And the more layered and varied the better.  They added a lush richness to my surroundings…it was like being in a shiek’s tent (Omar, where are you?).  Multiple rug patterns added color and texture to floors and other surfaces and created a look that I loved.  I was always on the lookout for old hand knotted rugs at tag sales and flea markets.  You can never have too many of these treasures, in my opinion.  Even if they are in really bad condition, they can be cut to cover an ottoman or seat of a chair or perhaps pillow cover.

Rug Wall Hanging and Table Cover

Rug Wall Hanging and Table Cover

The look in the photo above is not for everyone, I know.  An old rug serves to cover a table which is placed next to a wall where another rug hangs.  A big round brass table top rests against that wall hanging.  If company is coming, I can set up the wooden legs for the table, rest the top on the legs, and have a lovely low cocktail table ready in seconds that kind of gives the “Casbah look”.



The browns, blues and cream colors of a Heriz in a geometric pattern is shown above.



And the floral and animal motifs of a Tabriz are shown in the rug against a red background.

Layered Designs

Layered Designs

Draping many old rugs in various colors and designs on the library table is a look I love.

On Dining Room Table

On Dining Room Table

And using a small sized prayer rug under the centerpiece on the dining room table adds interest to the mahogany top.

On Kitchen Floor

On Kitchen Floor

The wooden kitchen floor would be boring without the addition of a rug.



Color combinations that I would never have imagined look marvelous in these rugs. 

Selected Reading

Selected Reading

The books shown above provide info on the history of Oriental rugs, how they are woven and examples of rugs from different areas.  Although these rugs are commonly referred to as Oriental, this term refers to hand knotted rugs produced in a wide area stretching from the Balkans in southeast Europe, over Turkey, North Africa, the Caucasus, Iran (formerly Persia), Afghanistan, Pakistan, part of India, Turkestan and China.

Oriental Carpets and Rugs

“All Color Book of Oriental Carpets and Rugs” by Stanley Reed

The book on Kilims shown below provides wonderful suggestions for decorating with tribal rugs.


“Kilims, Decorating With Tribal Rugs” by Elizabeth Hilliard

Following is a picture of a page from this book.  I love the way this rug looks hanging as a drapery next to the French doors.

Page from Elizabeth Hilliard's Book

Page from Elizabeth Hilliard’s Book

And the book shown below “Rugs and Wall Hangings” by Maggie Lane includes graphs for needlepoint rugs and wallhangings.

"Rugs and Wall Hangings"

“Rugs and Wall Hangings” by Maggie Lane

An example of one of these graphs is shown below:

Page from Maggie Lane's Book

Page from Maggie Lane’s Book

The needlepoint rug shown below works wonderfully as a bedcover.

Needlepoint Rug Used as Bedspread

Needlepoint Rug Used as Bedspread

Although these rugs can be carefully vacuumed over the winter months, once spring rolls around they should be taken outside and beaten….not an easy task when you have multiple rugs. 

Antique Rug Beater Hanging on Kitchen Wall

Old Rug Beater Hanging on Kitchen Wall

As I said, I know these hand knotted rugs are not for everyone…but I love them.


2 thoughts on “Knot For Everyone

  1. KerryCan

    How fascinating! It’s not just flatware, you have other passions, too! The rugs are gorgeous–so mellow and rich. I know absolutely nothing about them–is it hard to recognize hand-knotting?

    1. queenofsienna Post author

      There are some machine made rugs that could fool you but fof the most part, it’s pretty obvious.


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