City Rugs

The best city rugs represent the pinnacle of carpet production in terms of intricacy and refinement.  One might think of tribal rugs as pick-up trucks, village rugs as quality sedans and city rugs as sports cars.  The colours employed are often lighter (less practical for nomads, but appropriate for grand homes).  Curvilinear floral designs are typical, although complex geometric patterns and even pictorial rugs are also common.  Patterns often represent a history or place more than an ethnicity.  Wool pile on cotton foundation is the most typical material combination, however, silk foundation and silk highlights in the pile are also seen.  Pure silk carpets (some with more than 1000 knots per square inch) are also woven.  City rugs come in all sizes and shapes.  

In city carpets we see a greater division of labour – in addition to the weavers, there are loom-makers and loom-setters, dyers and pattern designers.  Most fine pieces are even sent to a specialist for a finished shearing before they are ready for market.   The amount of work that goes into making a fine rug like this (some pieces take years to weave) comes at a cost – a quality city rug can cost 20-fold that of a similarly sized tribal carpet. But then that’s not really an apples-to-apples comparison, is it?