Persian Rug Symbolism
Persian rugs have been a symbol of luxury and status for quite some time however the true intricacy and meaning behind their designs often times go unnoticed by the average person. Persian rugs are made using a mixture of premium fabrics such as cotton, silk, and wool, Persian rugs are known for their intricate designs and rich color schemes which provide elegance and class to any room they’re placed in. Wood is also a commonly used material in the handmade weaving process of antique Persian rugs due to the availability of the material.
The vibrant designs woven into every authentic Persian rug originates in cultural beliefs and traditions of the original Persian people. Many of the patterns woven into Persian rugs have been passed down throughout the generations to tribal weavers who keep the history alive. An interesting fact about Persian rugs is that each pattern has a name based on the province in which the original design was created.
Every antique Persian rug pattern tells a unique story that separates them from one another. Persian rugs use very deep symbolism and meaningful images in the design patterns which create a still yet moving piece of art that seems to breathe life from its very fabric.
The symbols that are woven into antique Persian rugs all represent something unique, they can represent things such as:
- Islamic Holy Sites
- Pictures taken from everyday life
- Religious Imagery
- Symbolic Trees like the Tree of Life
- Monuments from history
Persian rugs are available in four distinctive design themes all which represent a rich historical background or treasured story. The four main antique Persian rug themes are Herati, Boteh, Vase, and Gol.
Boteh is one of the most popular Persian rug designs and it’s very recognizable due to its pattern that resembles pears and teardrops. Herati is a very unique Persian rug design that originates in a town called Herat which is now located in Afghanistan. Herati Persian rug designs consist of one floral head that is encapsulated by a diamond framework and surrounded by curly canthus leaves.
Vase Persian rug designs consist of groups of vases or a vase that is surrounded by other meaningful imagery. Gol Persian rug designs typically incorporate an octagonal pattern that is supposed to resemble an elephant’s foot.
All of these designs provide an intricate look into Persian culture and history which is what makes Persian rugs such a popular interior decor piece. You may have thought the designs you see on Persian rugs were random and meaningless however all of them use images and shapes in a very symbolic way.
Some other symbolic meanings for the images used in antique Persian rug design include:
- Lily- symbolic of spirituality and purity
- Hunting Dog- symbolic of honor and glory
- Lion- symbolic of power
- Iris- symbolic of religious freedom
- Blossom- symbolic of youth and spring
- Amulet- symbolic of repelling the evil eye
- Lotus- symbolic of immortality and birth
- Peacock- symbolic of divine protection
- Eagle in Flight- symbolic of good fortune
When you buy a Persian rug, remember the symbolic meaning of the images included in the pattern.