Sunday, March 1, 2015

Oriental Carpet Design

The subject heading, “Rugs, Oriental” brings up many titles in the library catalog. Though this isn’t a topic that we are asked about at the reference desk now, it is clear from the quality and quantity of titles offered that the Oriental rug was a subject of much interest during the 1960s and 1970s. Many of these books have high quality photographs of rugs and in-depth diagrams of parts of the rug, and the knots used.

The reference book Oriental Carpet Design: a guide to Traditional Motifs, Patterns and Symbols gives a thorough introduction to all aspects of these rugs. This first section discusses the structure, colors, knots, dyes, origins of carpet design. The following sections discuss the elements of design: the border, designs that are universal, geometric and floral. Within these sections are chapter on motifs such as the boteh, and further descriptions of the geometric design. The format is somewhat of an anomaly, since the town or city where a rug is woven is often the most important factor in its design and construction - most titles in the collection divide chapters into geographical regions.

Books on this subject can be found in two different call number areas.  Formerly these books were given the call number 745.2 (as part of industrial design). More recent books have a textile arts, 746.7, call number. Here are a selection of titles from our collection:

Antique oriental rugs and carpets by Philip Bamborough (Blandford Press, 1979).

Beginner's guide to oriental rugs by Linda Kline (Ross Books, 1980).

Complete illustrated rugs & carpets of the world edited by Ian Bennett (A & W Publishers, 1977).

Oriental rugs and carpets today  by Georges Izmidlian (Hippocrene Books, 1977).

The splendor of antique rugs and tapestries by Parviz Nemati (Rizzoli; PDN Communications: Distributed by St. Martin's Press, 2001).

The story of carpets by Essie Sakhai (Moyer Bell, 1997).

The carpet: origins, art and history by Enza Milanesi (Firefly Books, 1999).

Heaven in a carpet  (Institut du Monde Arabe; Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, c2004).

Carpets from Islamic lands
by Friedrich Spuhler (Thames & Hudson, 2012).

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