Taxonomy of Fine Rugs

So many types of hand-knotted carpets are made – from traditional, to transitional and modern designs; in wool and silk and other materials too – it can be tricky to get a handle on all of the variety.  One of the best ways to think about rugs is to refer to the country of origin.  This is because carpet designs have historically been tied to very specific peoples and places, and where a carpet is made greatly affects its value.  

The biggest producer of carpets is Iran (ancient Persia), where the history of carpet weaving dates back thousands of years.  The major producers of rugs outside of Iran are India, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Turkey and China.  Most of the rugs these countries weave are based on Persian designs.

In order to categorize the variety of Persian or Iranian carpets produced, experts further classify them as tribal, village or city made.  So from all the variety, a fairly neat taxonomy emerges.  First, identify the country of origin. If the rug is Persian, you can also categorize it as city, village or tribal made.