Aside from their aesthetic purpose, rugs also hold various artistic, spiritual and historical significances across the world.
Notably, rug design is woven into Tibetan history. Their original and meticulous designs from past centuries are still highly coveted by the rest of the world today and understandably so.
Though the heyday of the Tibetan rug and carpet industry occurred in the 19th and early 20th centuries, they retain a significant popularity. Following its decline due to social upheaval in the latter half of the 20th century, many Tibetan carpet creations began exporting from India and Nepal.
While many of these ‘Tibetan rugs’, which appear in today’s international market, are produced by non-native businesses in South Asia, their legacy and poignancy in designer rugs remains.
The nature of Tantric Buddhism relies heavily on symbolism and metaphor, as such this category of rug design is laden with weird yet wonderful imagery.
Each rug narrates its own story from Tibetan legend, often showing images of would be archetypes of Buddhist deities. The rug owner’s choice of deity was said to represent their deepest nature as a Tantric practitioner.
Aesthetically, these are distinctive from other styles of Tibetan rug and according to local oral traditions, they were the first type of knotted pile rug ever woven in Tibet.
Created in the Shigatse region, this style of rug is loosely woven with a low knot count and a thick shaggy fringe.
Originally wangden rugs were used in monasteries, their thicker pile making them comfortable for monks to sit on. They are now used more domestically, but mostly remain in only small batch production.
These are closely associated with Tibetan Tantric rugs due to their representation of wrathful gods.
Designs for tiger rugs come in two distinct forms: one is a realistic ‘tiger pelt’ and the other is a more abstract style of tiger stripes.
How to use Tibetan rugs in your modern home
Tibetan people have used rugs for a variety of purposes, most notably for prayer and meditation. At Bazaar Velvet we like to offer a range of styles which can blend into rooms that are designed for peace and calm.
For example, our Persian rug designs offer a range of colours which can enhance the spiritual nature of a room. These rugs are well suited to prayer rooms or as a meditation friendly addition to a communal space, such as your living room. Alternatively some of our patchwork rugs combine oriental patterning with equally harmonious semiotic shades, giving a reminiscent look and showing influence from historically spiritual rug design.