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Crash Course in Vintage Rug Types

Hamadan, Tabriz, Soumak, Malayer, Bijar, Kashan... what do all those meaaaaan!? That is the question I asked when I was first introduced to vintage and antique rugs, and I'll be honest, none of the literature I found out there felt very user-friendly. I wanted more of a little yellow book titled, "Persian Rugs for Dummies." However, I was committed, so I persevered through the sometimes mundane essays just to get a working knowledge on these pieces of art. As with life, I'm still learning new facts every day, but I wanted to share with you a basic crash course in rugs, so you can feel like an educated buyer, and in this post we're going to chat about different types of rugs.

First off, rugs are classified by the region that they're made in. Easy enough, right? Among many others, Hamadan, Tabriz, Malayar, Bijar, and Kashan are all regions within Iran. Soumaks are made in Caucasus. Here is a helpful map c/o Nejad Oriental Rugs!

  1. Kashgar
  2. Yarkant
  3. Khotan
  4. Aksu
  5. Urumqi
  6. Boatou
  7. Beijing
  8. Tianjin
  9. Qingdao
  10. Shanghai


  1. New Delhi
  2. Jaipur
  3. Agra
  4. Bhadohi Region


  1. Karachi
  2. Lahore
  3. Peshawar


  1. Tabriz
  2. Ahar
  3. Mishkin
  4. Heriz
  5. Ardebil
  6. Bijar
  7. Kazvin
  8. Kalar Dashi
  9. Teheran
  10. Varamin
  11. Senneh
  12. Hamadan
  13. Feraghan
  14. Qum
  15. Kermanshah
  16. Malayer
  17. Kashan
  18. Isfahan
  19. Abadeh
  20. Shirez
  21. Yazd
  22. Kerman
  23. Birjand
  24. Mashhad
  25. Baluchi Region
  1. Hereke
  2. Bergama
  3. Kosak
  4. Ghiordes
  5. Kula
  6. Izmir
  7. Milas
  8. Yalcibedir
  9. Ladik
  10. Kirsehir
  11. Kars
  12. Yuruk Region


  1. Khiva
  2. Bukhara
  3. Kerki
  4. Samarkand
  5. Tashkent


  1. Herat
  2. Maimana
  3. Alubolak
  4. Aksha
  5. Mazar-i-Sharif
  6. Karkin
  7. Kunduz
  8. Kabul


  1. Lenkoran
  2. Saliani
  3. Baku
  4. Akstava
  5. Gendje
  6. Fachralo
  7. Borjalu
  8. Soumak
  9. Chichi
  10. Kuba
  11. Derbent





Just like cuisine varies among regions, so does rug weave and patterns! Some regions focused on florals and medallions while others depicted much more tribal designs.

Now, how do you know if your rug is vintage or antique?

A good rule of thumb is that rugs only earn the title of antique if they are more than 100 years old. For vintage, they only have to be 30-ish years old... It sounds silly saying, "only!" Can you imagine a new rug sticking around for even 10 years!? That thing would be hag-gard. 

So, those are the basics of classifying a rug. Now when you look at the title of a rug called, "Vintage Heriz," you're going to know what the heck you're looking at! 

In the next post, we'll go over rug construction! Whoop whoop! 

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