The Rug That Went on The National Flag, The Turkmen Rug

Turkmen rug

Turkmens are Asian nomadic peoples who settled in Central Asia from Samarkand to the eastern coast of the Caspian Sea. They have a minimal semi-nomadic lifestyle and rich culture. This article takes you through the best representatives of Turkmen art: The Turkmen rug.

Who Are The Turkmen People?

Turkmens have most probably descended from the Turkic tribes of Oghuz. Researchers claim they had moved westward from the Altai Mountains in the 7th century to the Siberian steppes. Then, they settled in the region nowadays located in Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Afghanistan, and Iran.

Turkmens take significant pride in their handmade rugs. They even have adorned Turkmenistan’s flag with five main patterns of the Turkmen rug. The flags’ motifs represent the five main Turkmen subtribes: Yomut, Ersari, Saryk, Choudor, and Tekke. Each of these tribes has a specific rug design.

They have appeared in the history of Persia with the dominance of a sub-tribe called Salor. They were the richest and more powerful Turkmen tribe since the 11th century. Salors are now settled mainly near Sarakhs in northeastern Iran. Their name has remained on some handmade rugs from Iran’s rug market.

Iranian Turkmens are mainly from the Yomut and Tekke tribes. They live in Golestan, Northern Khorasan and Razavi Khorasan provinces.

Technical Aspects and The Structure of Turkmen Rug

The Turkmen rug used to be fully woolen, except for silken warps for dowry rugs. Nowadays, they also use cotton warp and weft.

Turkmens weave double-weft rugs with symmetrical (Turkish) knots, and looms are primarily horizontal.

Turkmens weave double-weft rugs with symmetrical (Turkish) knots, and looms are primarily horizontal.. Generally, Turkmen rug hasvarious usages, like tent rugs, door hangings, backrest cushions, and saddlebags.

Dyeing and Painting of Turkmen Rug

The Turkmen palette is somewhat limited, and variants of crimson are dominant. One could mention dark crimson and yellowish crimson, for example, both obtained from madder. Subordinate colors are dark blue, white, black, dark green, brown and brownish red, olive, beige, and ivory.

Dyeing materials are mainly natural, but chemical dyeing is also used in some cases in recent decades.

Turkmen rug
Turkmen Rug

Persian Influence on The Turkmen Rugs

Turkmens have mixed with Iranian peoples of Central Asia, such as Sogdians, Chorasmians, and Scythians. So it is not unusual to find Persian names for their patterns, such as Filpay (Elephant Foot), The “Chemche” (cupped spoon), Ayna (mirror), Sakar Gul (sugar flower), etc.

That influence has led to many fusional rug patterns. “Chemche” [aka Qashqai], Bukhara, Cheshm Ghazal, and Chahar Fasl are famous designs of the Iranian Turkmen rug.

Khazai Rugs has collected the finest of Turkmen rugs in its Louisville, KY Rug Store. Visit our website today and explore this mesmerizing collection of rugs!

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