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Chinese Rug Types Guide

Types of Chinese Rugs

The earliest surviving examples of Chinese rugs have been dated to the 17th century at the end of the Ming dynasty. 

Ningxia Rugs (Ningsia)

Ningxia is a semi independent area in North Central China and is known for its wool production. Ningxia rugs utilize soft wool piles. They often have low knot density. Colors are usually soft and consist of blues, creams and reds.

Nichols Rugs

Nichols rugs came on the market in the 1920's. They usually have thick piles and densely packed knots. These rugs feature art deco style designs often with floral motifs. There is usually a two-tone color scheme in which one main color dominates the field and another color fills a thick border.

Fette Rugs

Fette rugs are named after Helen Fette who along with Chinese rug manufacturer Li Meng Shu formed the Fette-Li Company and produced rugs in the Peking area. These rugs are similar in design to Nichols rugs but slightly floppier due to thinner cotton foundations.

Closely related:

Tibetan Rugs

Tibetan rugs from the 19th century had minimal color palettes while around 1900-1950 an increase in synthetic dyes and Chinese design influence altered the look of the traditional Tibetan rug.

Mongolian Rugs

Bakhtiari rugs can feature tribal designs, garden patterns, and bold colors. These rugs are woven by the Bakhtiari tribe. Antique Bakhtiari rugs were rarely woven for export and met the requirements for the tribes people themselves. Read more about Bakhtiaris.