Deciphering the Hidden Meanings in Oriental Rugs
Those who own an oriental rug are usually beguiled by its beauty and certainly understand the importance of careful care and the occasional professional Oriental carpet cleaning in RI to ensure its longevity. What they may not be aware of though is that the beautiful colors and patterns in their Oriental rug actually have defined meanings.
Every Oriental rug, no matter where in the Asiatic region it originates from has its own unique pattern, color pallet and even weave that is specific to the craftspeople that created it. However, many of the motifs and colors used to create them have the same basic meaning. When they were first put into use, thousands of years ago Oriental rugs were meant not only to be used as home decoration but also to tell a story, much in the same way as a painting does, one of the big reasons that many people refer to them as works of art rather than just common rugs.
Animals of many different kinds are a familiar feature of Oriental rugs. In addition to often representing the creatures that live (or lived) in the areas where the rug’s creators dwell they also have meanings behind them and their use in the pattern helps convey a story or theme. The elephant for example is a symbol of power while both the fish and the camel can signify wealth, abundance and prosperity. The lion is a symbol of a great victory while a dragon symbolizes nobility.
Smaller creatures are featured in some rug patterns as well. The tiny butterfly is used to represent peace and happiness and adding the image of a spider is said to ward off bad luck.
Flower and Plant Motifs
Florals, but rather different florals to those used on ‘modern rugs’ are also a recurring theme in Oriental rug patterns. Bamboo commonly appears on Chinese rugs and it is a symbol of wealth and honor. The chrysanthemum is used not only because it is a beautiful bloom but because it represents long life. The lily is used to symbolize freedom and the oft used Tree of Life is, as you might have guessed, a symbol of heaven and the afterlife.
Oriental Rug Colors
Back when Oriental rugs were seen as a statement of the owner’s station in life and wealth the colors in the rugs they chose were of especial significance. Red denoted happiness and joy while its close relative orange represented devotion and piety instead. For those looking to demonstrate their power and wealth a predominately gold or yellow rug was a popular choice. Blue is used to symbolize solitude and truth and green is the ‘prophet’s color’, a sacred choice and earthy browns represent fertility.
These days the vast majority of people choose their Oriental rug based upon its aesthetic appeal to them personally, as they should since they will, with proper care including a regular visit from a company offering professional Oriental carpet cleaning in RI, last for many years and will therefore be a part of a home’s decor for a long time. It is interesting however to reflect on the deeper meanings behind these beautiful rugs and the intent of the people who created them.
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