View this video of our
handmade rug collection. Best viewed in full screen.
Our selection of
handmade rugs includes recycled patchwork kilim rugs by Ethnicon,
traditional felt rugs from Kyrgyzstan and Turkey and Egyptian Kilim
rugs. All our rugs are handmade using sustainable materials and eco
friendly traditional rug making methods.
Turkey is world
renowned for the quality of its flat weave kilim rugs. Over the last
decade this ancient tradition has been re harnessed and reinvigorated
with a variety of new styles and designs, not least of which is the
currant popularity of vintage rugs and curtains that have been
recycled and redesigned as new and striking patchwork .
Modern day rug manufacturers collect old and damaged kilims, curtains
and burlap sacks from around Anatolia and use them to create
contemporary pieces that still retain their ethnic allure.
Recycled patchwork rugs
also have an appeal on another level that is important to modern day
consumers as they are considered to be very environmentally friendly,
made with 100% pure recycled wool and dyed using traditional natural
vegetable dyes. These kilims embrace the concerns about
sustainability and ethical shopping.
This beautiful blend of
both ethnic & contemporary design styles fits very nicely with
modern minimalist design concepts
Each recycled rug is
made by a professional designer who creates a new work of art in its
own right, incorporating unusual and unique details into his rugs,
such as beads, tassels, wish knots and blemishes found in the
original pieces. It is then re-dyed, normally in bold statement
colours as has long been the tradition in Turkish kilims.
The wish knots you see
on many of the pieces have their own secret story as each one was
sewn into the original textiles by young girls from the east of
Turkey each knot representing a wish that the young girl has for her
Shyrdak felt rugs featured on our site have been painstakingly hand crafted by the highly skilled women of Naryn Oblast, Kyrgyzstan. Shyrdak felt rugs have long been a traditional part of domestic life in rural areas of Kyrgyzstan and the ability to make them is particular to the country women of Kyrgyzstan. Individual artisans make each felt rug which are then collected together by NGO's this is a valuable source of income for traditional herds people and helps them to support a traditional life style in remote places. Each Shyrdak felt rug is made by sewing contrasting patterns onto a felt base, the patterns usually have a positive negative theme which means that no felt is wasted as a reverse mirror image of the rugs is also created as you can see in the examples below. Designs seen on Shyrdak felt rugs are traditionally inspired by the natural environment which the makers are surrounded by. Here is an article about shyrdak felt rug symbols.
All our rugs are eco friendly rugs, we only stock rugs that are environmentally friendly and made with natural and sustainable materials.
All the colour dyes used in our rugs our made using traditional natural dyes, mostly vegetable based.
Our environmentally friendly rugs are not treated with any chemicals to make them stain resistant or more durable.
Our patchwork rugs are made using entirely recycled materials.
Ethnicon Rugs represent a new interpretation of nomadic and tribal arts of Anatolia, old and traditional kilims are collected from around Turkey and used to create new contemporary and yet still alluringly ethnic pieces, this beautiful blend of both ethnic & contemporary design styles fits very nicely with modern minimalist design concepts. These stunning kilim rugs are made by a professional designer who pays attention to incorporating unusual and unique details into his rugs, such as beads tassels, wish knots and blemishes found in the original pieces. This mix of old and new also embraces modern day concepts of recycling, sustainability and ethical shopping. Ethnicon kilim rugs are made using pure wool and dyed using natural vegetable dyes.
To see our collection of Ethnicon rugs click here.
To watch a short video about Ethnicon “A new breed of Turkish carpet” click here.
Felt rugs have been made by nomadic tribes in the Taurus mountain region of central Anatolia(Turkey)for longer then recorded history. Felting is an age old tradition practised across much of central and western Asia, felting is thought to have its origins in the neolithic age, predating weaving. Felt has historically played an important part in the lives of nomadic peoples being used for shelters, blankets, rugs, clothing and even votive images. The Anatolian felt rugs available on this website are all semi antique and represent an opportunity to own a beautiful and historic vintage textile.
To see our collection of Anatolian felt rugs click here.
Felt rugs from Kyrgyzstan traditionally called shyrdak rugs are made by nomadic tribes in the Tien Shan Mountains. For years these striking rugs have been used to decorate yurts or passed along as gifts and heirlooms. Shyrdak felt rugs are famous for their bright contrasting colours and symbolic motifs Made by pressing two different coloured felt panels together and dyed using natural dyes, these beautiful rugs represent years of Kyrgyz culture and heritage. Shyrdak rugs fit in well in with contemporary design ideals and also score well from an ethical viewpoint as there production is not harmful to the environment and is made using 100% sustainable materials. They are suitable to be used as both rugs and wall hangings.
Making A Shyrdak Felt Rug
It takes the wool from approximately five sheep to make one shyrdak rug. The wool is picked clean washed, dried then dyed. Traditionally they have stuck with high contrast colours such as red and green, yellow and black, brown and white. Different colour combinations have different meanings, for example when you see red and blue together it represents the mountains and lake Issyk-kul. At this point a brightly coloured pattern is laid on to a plain background this is then liberal soaked with soap and water rolled up and literally pressed this process is repeated. Once the pattern starts to hold the rug is reversed soaked and rolled again after some hours the shyrdak rug is left to dry. Two contrasting layers of felt are the laid on top of one another and a pattern is then marked on the top layer in chalk. This is painstakingly and laboriously cut out with the felt maker frequently sharpening the knife which will blunt quickly. This creates a stunning positive/negative style visual image usually full of symbolic motif images that represent things around them i.e. the water, goat horns a yurt etc. The felt that is cut from the top layer is not wasted and is used to create another mirror image shyrdak with the reverse colours of the original shyrdak.
Care for your Felt Rug
Well looked after your Shyrdak felt rug can last you for 30+ years, the thick felt bases and patterns that are hand stitched into position make for a hardy long lasting rugs. As with all rugs the life expectancy depends a lot on the usage if your rug is in an area of very heavy traffic then it will probably not last as long as one in area with less foot fall.
It is not recommend that you wash or dry clean your Shyrdak felt rug, stain removers and sprays should also be avoided. If you accidently spill a drink on your Shrydak felt rug you should dab it clean with a clean dry cloth or blot it up with kitchen towel (do not rub as this may damage the surface). The natural lanolin in the sheep’s wool means the rugs have a degree of natural defence against water based liquids. It is not recommended that you use a vacuum cleaner on your rug as this can damge the stitching, instead occasionally beating your rug with a traditional rug beater or broom handle will help to revitalise the rug and removes any surface dirt.
Quality Handmade Rugs
All our rugs are ethically produced using traditional tribal methods but also incorporating modern design ideals. Browse through our selection of beautifully hand crafted shyrdak felt rugs, recycled vintage kilim rugs, Egyptian kilims and Anatolian felt rugs. Bring a touch of art to your home with a rug from Unique Rugs.
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