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Oriental Rug Designs and Motifs

Below I have listed a number of common motifs and designs found in Oriental rugs. This is by no means a list including all motifs, and designs will vary from rug to rug.

Agra Border

Agra Border

Amulet


Amulet
Meaning: Thwarts evil eye

Bird

Bird
Meaning: Faith, Fertility

Blossom

Blossom
Meaning: Youth, Spring, Newlywed

Boteh


Boteh
Meaning: Flame, Universe

Camel


Camel
Meaning: Wealth and Prosperity

Carnation


Carnation

Chicken


Chicken, Rooster
Meaning: Protect from evil eye

Chinese Script

Chinese Script

Cloud Bands

Clouds

Comb

Comb
Meaning: Cleanliness

Crab

Crab

Cross

Cross
Meaning: Faith

Cypress

Cypress
Meaning: Serenity, Rebirth

Diamond

Diamond
Meaning: Woman. Two diamonds may be a man and woman.

Dog

Dog
Meaning: Protection, Trust, Defense

Dragon

Dragon
Meaning: Power

Eagle

Eagle
Meaning: Power

ewer


Ewer, Jug
Meaning: Purification

Herati

Herati
Meaning: Water garden, fish mahi

Hyacinth

Hyacinth
Meaning: Regeneration

Lamp

Lamp
Meaning: Youth, Spring, Newlywed

Leaf

Leaf
Meaning: Endless Regeneration

Lotus

Lotus
Meaning: Rebirth, Immortality

Man

Man
Meaning: Weaver in the rug

Mihrab

Mihrab
Meaning: Gateway to Paradise

Numbers

Numbers
Meaning: Signify Dates and Times

Octagon

Octagon

Paradise Bird


Paradise Bird
Meaning: Paradise

Palmette

Palmette

Peacock

Peacock
Meaning: Immortality

Pear

Pear (Boteh)

Peony

Peony
Meaning: Power

Rose

Rose
Meaning:White: Innocence, Red:Passion/Mystery

Snake

Snake
Meaning: Guardian, Wisdom

Star

Star
Meaning: Good Luck, Spirituality

Tarantula

Tarantula

Tulip

Tulip
Meaning: Prosperity

Tree Of Life

Tree of Life
Meaning: Direct Path from Earth to Heaven

Tree Weeping Willow

Tree (Weeping Willow)

Vase of Flowers

Vase of Flowers

Wine Glass Border

Wine Glass Border

 

Other Motifs:

Door Bolt, Duck, Swan, Endless Knot, Hand, Hourglass, Iris, Lily, Parrot, Phoenix, Pomegranate, Scorpion, Yin Yang

 

Sources:

(1) Bennett, Ian. Book of Oriental Carpets and Rugs. New York, The Hamlyn Publishing Group Limited, 1972. Print.

(2) http://www.urbanrugs.com/persian-rugs-carpet-symbols.htm

(3) http://www.urijacobiorientalcarpets.co.uk/images/orientalrugsymbols2.jpg

(4) http://www.carpetsofkashmir.com/symbolism-in-oriental-carpets-rugs.htm