7 stunning rug types from around the world
The art of carpet and rug weaving has been around for thousands of years. In this time, we’ve created beautiful patterns, colour combinations, durable natural fibres, and weaves - all expressing the culture where the rugs originated from.
Here at Rug.com.au, we love the cultural relevance and versatility of high-quality rugs. In this blog, we share some of our favourite rug types from around the world, including Moroccan rugs, Greek shag rugs, Turkish rugs, and many more.
#1: Morocco - Moroccan Rugs
Moroccan rugs have become a huge trend in the Western World. Featuring brilliant colours, fascinating patterns, and soft, comfortable piles of fabric, Moroccan rugs are perfect for homeowners looking to add a splash of colour and culture to their home decor.
Traditionally, Moroccan rugs and weaves were made exclusively by women in the Berber tribes of the Middle and High Atlas Mountains. Thanks to the dense piles of fabric, Moroccan rugs were used as floor art, mattresses, seating, and even blankets in the cooler months. Talk about multipurpose!
The wool used to weave the rugs was obtained from local sheep. The wool was woven by hand into different sizes, thicknesses, and tightness. The fibres would then be dyed with local ingredients like spices, minerals, fruits, and more.
The dye recipes were passed down from generation to generation, leading to the fantastic Moroccan rugs we know today.
Moroccan women were also known to get creative with their weaving, telling their life stories in the pattern. Their rugs featured lots of imagery and symbolism, which would vary depending on the local area where the rug was made.
Moroccan rugs became popular in America and Western countries in the 1970s and 1980s, but the trend has stuck around! Now, Moroccan rugs are ideal for homes with wooden or cane furniture and a neutral colour scheme, so the Moroccan rug can really make a colour splash elevating your home.
#2: Asia Pacific - Seagrass Rugs
Seagrass rugs, like all natural fibre rugs, are designed to bring nature indoors.
Seagrass fibre grows underwater in Asia’s wetlands including China and other areas of the Pacific Rim. This unique fibre is the eco-friendly solution to home decorating - seagrass is easy to harvest, grows back quickly, and makes for a durable piece of floor art - ideal for both indoor and outdoor use.
Seagrass is long-lasting and plentiful - so it’s a must-have for homeowners looking to make an environmentally conscious decision about their home decor.
Image: Sisal Rugs
For an added bonus, seagrass rugs are stain and water-resistant. Place a seagrass rug in high traffic areas like hallways, entryways, and living rooms, or add a seagrass rug to your outdoor entertaining area. The space will get an extra dose of style, while keeping everyone’s shoes clean before re-entering the house!
The only possible downside - due to the extreme durability and stain resistance of seagrass, these rugs are very difficult to dye, so you will almost always find seagrass rugs in natural colours… good news for homes with accident-prone kids though!
#3: Deserts of Mexico, Brazil, China and Africa - Sisal Rugs
Sisal is one of the most popular natural fibre rug types. It’s more versatile than seagrass; for one, sisal can easily be dyed, so you’re not limited to beige or brown colour schemes. Second, sisal is just as durable as seagrass, making them perfect for high traffic homes.
Sisal is a natural fibre derived from the long green leaves of the 'agave sisalana' cactus plant. Agave is one of the most predominant native plants from the hot semi-desert regions in the western hemisphere, like Mexico, Brazil, China, and Africa.
While the sisal plant originated in the Yucatan peninsula of Mexico, Brazil and Tanzania are now the world’s biggest exporters of luxurious sisal rugs.
Sisal reeds can be woven into stunning patterns and colours. Plus, no pesticides are used to harvest Sisal which makes them an excellent choice for any allergy sufferers.
#4: India - Jute Rugs
Jute is a long, soft, and shiny fibre which is often spun into course, long threads for burlap sacks and hessian. It’s a rain-fed crop found on the alluvial soils of the Ganges in Bangladesh, India. There’s no need for fertiliser or pesticides, which makes jute rugs great for people with allergies.
The British started trading jute from India in the 17th century, which caused a massive boom in the popularity of jute-related products for centuries to come. In fact, more than a billion jute sandbags were exported from Bengal to the trenches during World War I, showing just how versatile jute can be!
Today jute has become a hugely popular choice for homeowners looking for an affordable, eco-friendly rug to spice up their home decor. Ideal for living rooms, sunrooms, and bedrooms, jute rugs feel soft and comfortable underfoot.
Jute is also easier to dye than seagrass, so you’ll find jute rugs in a wide range of colours to suit your unique home decor theme.
#5: Turkey - Turkish Knotted Rugs
Anatolian rugs (otherwise known as Turkish rugs) are carpets made in Anatolia (Asia minor) and adjacent regions. Most areas of production were dominated by the Ottoman Empire and the knotted, pile-woven style now represents the regional culture - what we know as Turkey today.
Turkish rugs are thicker than traditional rugs and are woven from wool, cotton, and silk. They’re always tied with a Turkish knot, otherwise known as the Ghiordes knot or Turkbaff.
Turkish rugs have brilliant colours and geometric patterns. Some also feature prayer niches, but no humans or animals because the Quran doesn’t allow for this.
Nowadays, Turkish rugs are a popular item for home decorating - hang this style of rug on the wall, lay it out on the living room floor under a wooden or cane coffee table, or add a splash of colour to your dining room.
#6: Iran - Persian Rugs
Persian rugs are one of the most luxurious and intricate styles of rugs in the entire world. Woven from soft wool, Persian rugs have elaborate patterns and designs, perfect for homeowners looking to add a splash of colour, luxury, and history to their home decor.
The art of carpet weaving in Iran (previously known as Persia) started more than 2,500 years ago. Rather than using rugs for decoration, Persian nomads used them to cover the floors, giving them protection from the cold and damp. Over the centuries, Persians improved their skill and craft, which was passed down from generation to generation.
The patterns and designs transformed through periods of peace, invasion, and war. Persian rugs also became popular and “high end” when Ancient Greek historians started talking about them in their scripts. As well as fantastic colours and patterns, these rugs have a rich history behind them!
Persian rugs look fantastic on wooden floors - but make sure to add an anti-slip pad underneath to prevent slips and trips! Matched with wooden, cane, or metal-based furniture, Persian rugs add an exotic touch to any living space.
#7: Ancient Greece - Shag Rugs
Shag rugs were incredibly popular in the 1960s and 1970s. Thanks to the fluffy, deep pile fabric and comfy, cushioned material, shag rugs and carpets were popular amongst the disco and hippie communities. Imagine these rugs matched with retro furniture, or spread out in the back of a van heading to Woodstock… there’s something cosy-cool about shag rugs!
Despite their overwhelming popularity in the late 20th century, shag rugs originated from the Flokati rugs of Ancient Greece. Traditionally, these rugs were woven from long strands of goat hair and looped to raise up the fibres and create a deep, comfy pile to walk and sit on.
This rug style was popular in Turkey, Greece, and Central Asia before making an appearance in America’s “beatnik” communities.
After becoming “passe” in the 1980s, shag rugs have made a comeback and are now considered stylish and elegant. With fewer “out there” colours and patterns, modern shag rugs are now trendy in neutral hues like cream, beige, and white, while faux furs add a luxurious, fluffy touch to any living space.
Add a shag rug to your bedroom for a warm and comforting sensation when you get out of bed in the morning, or add a rug to a baby’s nursery for comfy tummy time. These rugs are an absolute people pleaser - no matter the age!
Add exotic rug styles from around the world to your living space today
A high-quality rug can add an incredible touch of culture and style to your living space. From rich coloured Moroccan rugs to natural fibre rugs like seagrass, sisal, and jute - carpets and rugs are a must-have item to complete and tie together any stylish home decor.
We have hundreds of rugs to choose from online - at the most affordable prices you can find! Shop online today - we have flexible payment options including Zippay and Afterpay, plus free shipping over $300.