Tag Archives: old rug

What Are Oriental Rugs Made Of?

People often wonder what Oriental rugs are made out of. Depending on the type of Oriental rug in question it could be any number of natural or synthetic substances. A typical hand knotted Oriental rug will have a wool pile woven onto a cotton foundation. The wool may be dyed naturally with vegetable dyes, or it may be dyed with synthetic dyes. There are different qualities of wool ranging from coarse and dry to soft and shiny. The best wool can sometimes be mistaken for silk. The quality of the materials often contributes to the value of the rug itself.

wool persian rug

High quality wool Persian rug woven on a cotton foundation.

pakistan bokhara rug

Lower quality wool in a Pakistan Bokhara rug with a cotton foundation.


Note the shiny and lustrous appearance of the rug in the top photo compared to the coarser appearance of the rug in the bottom. A finer quality wool was used in weaving the rug in the first picture. A handmade rug may also be woven with camel or goat hair. These natural materials can also be used as accents in the design of the rug, or as binding on the edges.

bokhara rug

Finer Bokhara rug with silk accents.


Silk is another common material used in finer handwoven Oriental rugs as the pile, foundation, and often to highlight designs in wool rugs. There are materials referred to as artificial silk which are common in machine-made rugs but can also be found in hand-knotted rugs. Nylon, mercerized cotton and polypropylene are all synthetic materials used in machine-made rugs.


Types of Hamedan Rugs

Persian Rug Runner

Traditional Persian Hamedan rug runner with a red field and ivory border. Shop Now >

A name that almost everyone is familiar with in the world of Oriental rugs is Hamedan. Hamedan rugs are a type of Persian rug. They are made in the Hamedan province in what is now called Iran. It is one of the largest weaving areas in the region and the province encompasses hundreds of villages which contributed to it becoming one of the greatest rug markets in Persia. The city of Hamedan is the capital of the Hamedan province.

Hamedan rugs usually have a cotton foundation, a wool pile and are woven with Turkish knots. Older Hamedan rugs may have a wool foundation. Designs include single medallions, multiple medallions, floral motifs and geometric motifs. The design often depends on the village or location where the rug was woven. For example, Bibikabad rugs usually have a small center medallion surrounded by an all-over design while Dergazine rugs almost always have an all-over pattern with floral sprays mimicking Sarouk rugs.

Large Persian Rug

Persian Bibikabad Rug. Bibikabads come in large carpet sizes such as 8×10 and larger. Shop Now >


Pink Persian Oriental Rug

Persian Dergazine rug runner with all-over floral pattern. These rugs are similar in style to Sarouk rugs.

With so many different villages and weavers working in the Hamedan province, Hamedan rugs often have the most varied designs of all Oriental rug styles.  Although there are many types of Hamedan rugs, some of the most popular types include Bibikabad, Borchelou, Dergazine, Ingeles, Hussainabad, Kabudrahang, Lilihan, Malayer, Maslaghan, Nahavand, Rudbar, and Tajabad among others. Often times inexperienced rug sellers or even rug dealers may refer to these specific types generally as Hamedans as it can become confusing to use city or village names.

Red Persian rug

A red Persian Hussainabad rug with an all-over Herati pattern. Shop Now >

Hamedan rugs often come in smaller and runner sizes. The sub-types of Hamedans can often be found in more specific sizes. For example, a room-sized Bibikabad or Kabudrahang is very common, while they are not easily found in smaller sizes. A Dergazine may be found in a 4×6 or smaller size, or a runner, but a large room-sized carpet is highly unlikely to be described as a Dergazine.

Red Persian Rug

Large Red Persian Kapoutrang rug. Kapoutrangs often come in large room-sizes such as 8×10 and larger. Shop Now >

The characteristics that can be used to define a rug from the Hamedan region include the weave which is composed of a single weft thread, the knot-type, and the colors. Red, Ivory and Blue are the most commonly used colors in the Hamedan province. As seen in the examples above, each rug has some shade of red, ivory and blue in it. If the rug does not have red, ivory or blue it does not mean it is not a Hamedan, each characteristic of the rug must be looked at to classify the Oriental rug in question.

Do you have any Hamedan rugs in your home?