The designs and colors of ethnic rugs and blankets transport us to their places of origin and transmit their culture and roots. These rugs are very versatile as they adapt very well to different decorative styles, different uses and placed in different areas.Ethnic rugs are more used in bohemian style decoration, where 6 types stand out from the rest:
- Moroccan rugs were handmade on looms placed on the ground, using sheep’s wool. And their designs, colors and weaving techniques could vary depending on the tribe that wove them. Currently they use materials such as wool, nylon and other types of fibers. There are the Beni Ouarain rugs, of neutral color and geometric lines; the Boucherouite, handmade using fabrics, wool, leather, cotton and nylon strips; and Azilal carpets made of virgin wool and woven by Berber women, following a tradition that passes from generation to generation.
- Kilim, is a thick fabric without hair, unlike the rug that is a fabric with a layer of hair. The Kilim are made by hand, but without knot (intercalated threads of vertical way – warp and horizontal – weft), it means it is smooth on both sides. That’s why these rugs are considered a minor category. Anyway they are still beautiful and they last approximately 50 years, less than a rug with hair and knot.
- Turkish rugs have thousands of knots according to their size. We can find in them a combination of wool, cotton and silk, where the light color is the natural color of the rug. Highlights in them the designs of flowers, stems and curves. They are woven with the symmetrical knot (Turkish knot), where the loop is knotted embracing the two warps (vertical threads) and coming out again through the middle of them.
- In the Persian rugs, the designs that stand out are vegetal, geometric and even animal. The rugs are developed by a combination of silk, cotton and wool. They are woven with a type of knot called asymmetric that allows to make more complex designs and with greater definition.
But let’s not forget the ethnic rugs and blankets that are made in Latin America, and here we could name the Mexican and the Andean rugs.
- Mexican rugs are made of sheep wool and using natural dyes, made by Zapotec weavers in the region of Oaxaca. The design and the symbols used in these fabrics are representations of ancient beliefs and the indigenous tradition that has been passed on from generation to generation.
- Andean rugs are actually thick fabrics called frazadas or big blankets. They are used by the people who live in the Andes mountains to protect themselves from the cold during the night. Due to their design, colors and texture, they have many uses, among them as rugs. These fabrics are made of sheep wool and dyed with natural pigments obtained from the cochineal, which is an insect that is found in a type of cactus and from which red and purple tones can be obtained. The most predominant colors are orange, yellow, green, red, pink, fuchsia, blue and also chromatic tones such as ocher, persimmon, sienna, brown, sepia. In their designs, geometric shapes inspired by nature and their spiritual symbols stand out.