Emmett’s Book, Oriental Rugs Today, Online

Emmett’s book, Oriental Rugs Today, was released in its second edition in 2003. It remains essential reading today, and is likely the definitive work on the contemporary Oriental rug market.

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A Renaissance of Oriental Rug Weaving

The best Oriental carpets woven today, are more beautiful and of better quality than any woven in the previous seven decades.

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The Decline of Quality in the Twentieth Century

Over the early and middle decades of the 20th century weavers gradually abandoned the use of their traditional, vegetal dyestuffs and substituted synthetic dyes of poor quality. By shortly after World War II, for all practical purposes, natural dyes in Oriental rugs were a thing of the past.

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The Oriental Rug Renaissance

Natasha and I come across new carpets with designs we have seen only in museums. We find rugs that are full of character, rugs with vegetal dyes and handspun wool, gorgeous rugs — and a lot of them, more than we can afford to buy. At some time, unnoticed at first, the world of Oriental rugs entered a renaissance. How did it happen? When did it happen?

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Natural Dyes Rediscovered

Phase one of the Oriental rug renaissance was the revival of natural dyeing techniques, spearheaded by the DOBAG project and such visionaries as George Jevremov…

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The Decorative Carpet Movement

Another important change in fashion was beginning to take shape in the Oriental rug industry, a trend toward what became known as decorative carpets…

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Geopolitical Events and the Oriental Rug Renaissance

International political events contributed to the rug renaissance. The Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, the Islamic Revolution in Iran…

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Technology and the Oriental Rug Renaissance

It is perhaps surprising that a low-tech industry like Oriental rugs could benefit from twentieth-century technology, but information technology, travel and modern communications have all helped to transform the way Oriental rugs are brought to market.

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The Oriental Rug Renaissance – Recap and Timeline

Summary and Timeline of the Oriental Rug Renaissance, which started roughly in 1985. Plus some great photos.

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How Oriental Rugs Are Made Today

The traditional model of how Oriental rugs are made is obsolete. What follows is an account of how rugs are most often woven today.

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Old Oriental Rugs vs New Oriental Rugs

New Rugs vs. Old and Antique Rugs: The excellent new rugs of this era should convince many designers and collectors they have to be considered seriously.

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Natural Dyes and Synthetic Dyes in Oriental Rugs

Today natural dyes are an option in new oriental rugs and you will have to decide between natural and synthetic dyes if you buy one. The choice is important…

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Dyes and Spin: Final Considerations

For all practical purposes, both natural dyes and modern chrome dyes are superb, and so are hand- and machine-spun wool. The choice is aesthetic.

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New Oriental Rugs that Look Old

For at least a hundred years, oriental rug sellers have devised ways to simulate an old-rug look in new rugs, with methods ranging from harmless to nearly fatal…

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7 Misconceptions About New Oriental Rugs

Oriental rug expert Emmett Eiland dispels some common misconceptions about new oriental rugs and carpets.

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Western Influences on Oriental Rugs

A fundamental change has occurred in the way oriental rugs are selected to be woven. Commercial interests in Europe and America are now deciding what carpets…

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Turkish Rugs: The DOBAG Project

DOBAG is a Turkish acronym meaning Natural Dye Research and Development Project. Under DOBAG villagers learned the traditional use of natural dyes to make rugs.

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Turkish Rugs: Woven Legends

Woven Legends has had enormous influence in the Oriental rug industry since around 1985 — which is when I believe the rug renaissance began.

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Turkish Rugs: Anadol, I.M. International and the Rest

Turkish rugs. An overview of the best rugs coming out of Turkey today, including rugs by Anadol, I.M. International, Turkish Herekes, Turkish Kilims and more.

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Tibetan Rugs, Rugs from Nepal

Tibetan rugs are some of the brightest stars in the oriental rug market (Tibetan rugs include those made in Nepal and India by Tibetans). The Tibetan rug story.

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Pakistani Rugs and Carpets

It was once thought that Pakistan had no tradition of rugmaking. In fact, Pakistan has contributed more to the recent rug revolution than almost any other…

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Pakistani Bokhara Rugs (Bokara or Bukhara)

Pakistani Bokharas are a type of inexpensive handmade oriental carpet, usually patterned after Turkmen Tekke tribal rugs. Also known as Bhukara, or Bokara.

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Pakistani Rugs: The “Pakistani Persian” Rug

A Pakistani ‘Persian’ rug means a Pakistani rug in a Persian style. Most likely, Pakistani Persian rugs were produced to fill the vacuum created when the U.S. ceased trading with Iran…

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Pakistani Rugs: Afghan Weavers in Pakistan

Some of the best new oriental rugs are being made in Pakistan by Afghan refugees. Here’s the story.

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Pakistani Rugs: Chris Walter

Chris Walter has quietly created one of the very best and largest productions of natural-dyed oriental rugs and in the world in three separate businesses.

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Pakistani Rugs: Art Resources

Art Resources creates great, old-looking oriental rugs in Pakistan, without distressing them with chemicals.

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Khal Mohammadi Rugs

Khal Mohammadi rugs are made in the Afghan refugee camps of Pakistan, specializing in Turkmen rugs with coppery-colored fields.

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Pakistani Rugs: Q Mark, Pamir, Hazara Looms

Q Mark and Pamir are emerging with good, new oriental rug productions in Pakistan. Hazara looms have put production on hold due to a migration of weavers…

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Pakistani Rugs: I.M. International

I.M. International is a major force in the oriental rug world, contributing scores of designs – all superior to ordinary Pakistani natural-dye carpets.

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Rugs of India: worth a second look

The rugs of India have gotten leagues better in the past quarter century. Oriental rug lovers everywhere have started to notice.

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Rugs of India: Gertmenian Carpets

The Henry Gertmenian Company of San Francisco is one my favorite importers of what we call mainstream Indian rugs. These are handmade Oriental rugs with mostly Persian designs, good synthetic dyes and machine-spun wool, and a typical knot-count of between 100 and 200 knots per square inch…

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Rugs of India: Jaipur Tea-wash Carpets

Tea-wash rugs from India, specifically the so-called 9/9 Jaipur carpets, have become immensely popular in the U.S. oriental rug market. Here’s the story.

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Rugs of India: Black Mountain Looms

Teddy Sumner and George Jevremovic were the first people to make Oriental rugs on a commercial scale in modern India with natural dyes and hand-spun wool.

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Rugs of India: Mahindra Carpets

Mahindra is a type of Oriental rugs produced in India, woven with natural dyes and hand-spun wool on a cotton foundation. Mahindras revolutionized Indian rugs..

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Rugs of India: Zamin Carpets

No one recognizes these rugs as Indian; they look and feel completely different. Zamin rugs are eclectic in design, drawing inspiration from Iran, Turkey, and elsewhere. They are colorful, ‘villagey’ in character, and studies in natural dye.

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India Rugs: Rugs by Robinson

Rugs by Robinson, for a time, imported some fine Indian carpets with natural dyes and machine-spin wool. Some of these oriental rugs are still on the market.

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India Rugs: Samad Brothers Oriental Rugs

Malcolm and David Samad are not interested in literally reproducing antique Oriental rugs. Instead, they give their rug producers in India designs to start with…

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India Rugs: Old World Classics

Old World Classics make rugs and carpets in India in about forty designs, with handspun wool and natural dyes, washed and finished entirely without chemicals.

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Indo-Sarouks: Sarouk Rugs from India

Indian Sarouk Rugs, or Indo-Sarouks, are Indian rugs made to look like classic Persian Sarouk rugs.

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Afghan Rugs and Carpets: Rugs from Afghanistan

Afghan rugs are genuine, often charming, and usually phenomenally inexpensive. They include Turkmen rugs, Baluchi prayer rugs, war rugs, and Mauri silk rugs.

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Chinese Oriental Rugs

A short history and analysis of Chinese rugs in the American rug market.

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Persian Rugs: The Rugs and Carpets of Iran

Persian rugs: A guided tour through the crop of new Persian rugs (true Persian rugs are made in Iran) into the U.S. market now that trade barriers have fallen.

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Gabbeh Rugs: The Persian Gabbeh Rug

Gabbeh rugs: the term “gabbeh rugs” means rugs that are from southern Iran, are woven by tribal and village people, are dense rugs with heavy body…

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Egyptian Rugs and Carpets: Made in Egypt

Egyptian Rugs Guide: Just a few rugs and carpets from Egypt reach these shores each year, yet some of these are among the best Oriental rugs in the world.

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Which country makes the best rugs?

The Best Rugs: Which are the best rugs made today: Egyptian rugs? Persian rugs? Turkish, Afghan, Chinese rugs? Pakistani rugs, Tibetan, Indian? Find out here.

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Rug Books we recommend

Here are other comprehensive rugs books about Oriental carpets, though you should note that, like most rug books, the ones I’ve cited focus on antique rugs.

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Handspun vs. Machine-Spun Wool Pile

The distinction between handspun and machine-spun wool is Oriental rugs is far from academic. Handspun and machine-spun wool have different properties that crucially affect how a rug looks.

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Turkish Rugs: Buying Rugs in Turkey

Guide to Buying Rugs and Carpets in Turkey: Great looking Turkish rugs have been made for centuries. But there is a more sinister side to the story…

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