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European Rugs

The evolution of European rug design is a reflection of the evolution of European artistic styles. Most European rugs were not made for simple everyday use, but were instead custom-made for clients who wanted rugs that matched the d├ęcor of their rooms. Some European rugs were even designed to match the ceilings in the rooms they were being designed for. Despite the fact that European rugs were for the most part custom-made, the influence of popular styles and famous designers means that there are still characteristics that European rugs of a particular time and place will have in common. Most rug experts consider the most important centers of European rug design to be England, Ireland, Spain, and France.


The history of English European rugs begins with the first pile rugs which were made around 1570. Around this time, Turkish rug designs were in fashion and the English pile rugs of the era tended to copy those designs. In addition, some of the custom-made rugs of the era incorporated coats of arms and other English motifs. One of the most important schools of design in the history of English European rugs was the Adam school of design of the late 18th century. These designs were used in architecture, interior room design, and in rug design. Some of the motifs which could often be found in Adam design were octagons, ovals, garlands, wreaths, and fans. In terms of color, light blue, gray, and red were commonly used. It was very common to see Adam rugs which perfectly matched Adam ceilings during this era.

After Adam designs, England's next truly great contribution to the history of European rugs took place in the late 19th century. William Morris was famous not only as a designer, but was also a writer, artist, and social activist. He was heavily influenced by Persian styles, as evidenced by his use of repeated geometric designs as well as floral designs in his European rugs. While blues and reds were commonly used in his designs, other color combinations were used as well. Although his actual designs were only made for a short period of time, rug makers in China, India, and Pakistan continue to duplicate his style of European rug to this day.


The European rugs coming from Donegal, Ireland are among the most beautiful European rugs being produced today. The history of these European rugs began in 1858 and they are noted for their consistently extraordinary quality. They are difficult to describe as a group, as every single Donegal rug is custom-made according to the artistic tastes of the clients. Designs of these prized European rugs range from ornate neoclassical designs to designs influenced by nature to designs which take their inspiration from modern art.


The history of European rugs actually began with Arab control of Spain in the 8th century. While the earliest Spanish rugs were not really European rugs at all, those Muslims who remained in Spain after the Crusades combined elements of Islam and Christianity to create an entirely new style of European rug. A combination of European and Turkish influences persisted until the 18th century, when French European rug styles became popular. Modern Spanish European rugs are no longer influenced by any one particular style, but Islamic motifs and influences can still be found in many of them to this day.


Two French styles of European rugs became the most important in the history of European rugs. The Aubusson and Savonnerie styles dominated both France and Spain for two centuries. Some of the earliest European rugs made in Aubusson were copies of Turkish rugs, but later they began to imitate some of the floral and architectural motifs found in Savonnerie rugs. The Savonnerie European rugs were the rugs of royalty and nobility, usually custom-made for palaces. They were designed under the direction of the royal court artists, who often used floral motifs, architectural motifs, and coats of arms. As with the English Adam design rugs, many Savonnerie rugs were made to match the ceilings of the rooms they were created for. Like the English designs of William Morris, the Aubusson and Savonnerie styles of European rug are imitated to this day in China, Pakistan, and India.

At Oriental Rug Care NY, we are experts in all kinds of rugs no matter where they came from, whether they are authentic Aubusson rugs or modern imitations made in India. We understand the materials and methods that were used to make these European rugs, and we have the knowledge and experience to clean or restore any European rug you bring to us. If you want the very best care for your European rug, look no further than Oriental Rug Care NY. We accept shipping from all 50 states, and we offer free pick-up and delivery to our local customers. No matter where you live, look to Oriental Rug Care NY for all your European rug care needs.

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