Egyptian Rugs and Carpets: Made in Egypt

Egyptian rug megerian brothers
An exquisite Egyptian rug by Megerian Brothers Oriental Rugs. Most Megerian carpets, like this one, are made after old Sultanabad designs.

Egyptian rugs are an anomaly, or so it seems to me. On one hand, just a few rugs and carpets from Egypt reach these shores each year, yet some of these are among the best rugs in the world.

Most people don’t think of Egypt as a source of Oriental rugs. New Egyptian rugs are almost never included in books on the subject because, first of all, new Oriental rugs of any nationality are rarely written about in books, and, secondly, Egyptian rugs today do not have a recognizable Egyptian ‘look’. Nearly all are based on Persian designs.

Egypt has a rug-weaving tradition that dates back to at least the sixteenth century. After a brief period of glory, though, it seems to have gone into abeyance until after World War Two. The birth of the handmade carpet industry in modern Egypt dates to the Egyptian Revolution in 1952, when the importation of carpets from Iran ceased.

Egyptian rug weaver
A young Egyptian rug weaver at an A. Moustafa loom near Cairo, Egypt.

As I was researching the current production of rugs in Egypt, I became aware that a very large Egyptian producer of rugs was just then planning to launch a new U.S. division. The Egyptian company is A. Moustafa, one of the earliest rug producers in modern Egypt starting operations right after 1952. Today, Moustafa employs thousands of weavers, young men and women who have reached 15 years of age and have completed nine years of schooling. For some, weaving is a family enterprise, but most are trained by the Moustafa staff.

Moustafa produces rugs and carpets in Persian designs with either Egyptian or Merino wool, or silk, in synthetic dyes and machine-spun pile. The Moustafa family denies that there are more than ‘six looms in Egypt’ weaving rugs with natural dyes. As this book goes to press, professional photographs are not available of the carpets the company will import to America, but we see glimpses of fascinating pieces on the loom or in the process of being finished. It will be interesting to see how a well-established Egyptian firm will fare in America as they jump into the decorative rug market.

Egyptian rug by Megerian brothers
An ivory field Egyptian carpet by Megerian brothers, also based on an old Persian Sultanabad design.

The most respected American firm weaving rugs in Egypt is Megerian Brothers Oriental Rugs of New York. Indeed, Megerian is among the most respected of all rugmakers today. The Megerian family has been in various facets of the rug business since 1917, including the repair of antique rugs and carpets. Their orientation toward antiques and their perception that old carpets were becoming fatally scarce eventually led them to reproduce antique pieces.

Today, Megerian’s Egyptian production is almost exclusively in Sultanabad designs; that is, curvilinear, formal designs based on the weavings of the Sultanabad district of Iran around the year 1900. They are produced with a mixture of natural and chrome dyes and with handspun wool. People outside the family who are familiar with the production attest to the attention to detail lavished on every Megerian carpet. Each is inscribed in Armenian with the Megerian family name.


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    Hisham August 23, 2008

    thanks for this great topic , i hope u can add mor info. about carpet industry in Egypt .

  2. generic user icon January 31, 2009

    I live in New Jersey. Is there a dealer in my area. My zip code is 08033

  3. generic user icon August 18, 2009

    kindly help me with the companies that manufuning the the carpets in Egypt, i saw some carpets in south Africa from Egypt.We are big buyers of carpets in Zambia.

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    harriet November 10, 2009

    I have a rug, I got it as a gift from a relative. I don’t know what type, he thinks it may be Egyptian.

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    Patti Hair December 21, 2009

    I have an Egyptian Rug that my friend’s husband bought 30 years ago, she said she has the papers on it and will get them for me. She said it is worth a lot of money and has about 856 threads or something. I know nothing about these things, what do you think it is worth? It is in good shape, no threads loose or anything. He was from Cairo and it was his pride and joy.

    Sincerely Patti

  6. generic user icon June 26, 2010

    I have an Egyptian Rug that my mom bought for me from an Egyptian rug weaver while she was on holiday in Egypt in 2002. She told me she paid $1200 American for it. I would like to sell it if at all possible. It is in perfect shape.Please email me if you have any idea of what it might be worth thanks, Lee Andra

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    Richard June 28, 2010

    Lee Andra,
    Without a photo there is no way I can make an assessment. Feel free to email a photo to the above address.

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    omar ahmed October 2, 2010

    hay i am egyptian and i went today to egypts rug weaving center fowa , i saw the rug weavers and the whole process, belive me when i say a 2m*3m rug take around 40 days if 3 workers were working in full time

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    Melania May 9, 2011

    I found arug that I loved at a Yard sale. Is ia a caggeh 100% olofin 5’3″ by 7’9″. The only number on it was ISO 9001 what can you tell me abput it and how to clean it

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    Melania May 9, 2011

    I do not know how to send a picture

  11. generic user icon June 9, 2011

    Good afternoon!
    Is there any tipology of Carpet: Egiptian Agra?
    Thank You very much.

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    mido December 31, 2011

    This rug is an Oriental Weavers machine made area rug. Oriental Weavers as I heard is the one of the leading companies in the world that produces machine made area rugs. It is based in Cairo, Egypt, however they have production plants all over the world. I would recommend you use a warm damp towel and gradually go over stained spots on the rug. If so fails, then try using one of the area rug cleaning detergents sold at any hardware store. Hope this helped!

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    justin May 25, 2012

    I have a rug that i inherited from a friend an E-7 navy chief. It is made from camel hair and bought in Egypt about twenty years ago…it supposley cost some where around $2000 how can i verify this.

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    Melania July 1, 2012

    I found a gabbeh collection power loomed rug with #1s09001 on the tag. It is a beautiful blue flowered rug that someone cut the fringe off on side. It cleaned up nicely but I have no place for it. We live in a small ranch house. It is 90″ by 62″. Could you give me an idea of its worth?

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    admin July 3, 2012

    Hi Melania, if you have a question about a rug you own, feel free to email us at Be sure to include a photo of the rug! Please be patient as we get very many of these requests.

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    Lubi from Egypt November 17, 2012

    Actually, Egypt has a very strong tradition of carpet making and there are hundreds of rug manufacturers in Egypt ranging from small workshops that make handwoven carpets to enormous corporations producing both handwoven and machine-woven carpets. The designs are just as varied. There are ethnic Egyptian designs and styles while many are inspired by Persian and Turkish carpets. And, the best part is that carpets in Egypt are very affordable, even the handmade ones.

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    Barry O'Connell December 6, 2012

    Hello Emmett,
    Very nice article. I am doing an appraisal on a Egyptian Silk rug and this article is very helpful.
    Best wishes,

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    Victor Franco December 6, 2012

    I have a good collection from the Megerian signature I ma happy to see this article on Egyptian Rugs.

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    Vickie Lightfoot October 14, 2013

    I have a rug.The label says it is a Dalyn. It also says it is 100% VELVET SET. IT SAYS IT WAS MADE IN EGYPT AND HAS A CERTIFICATED COMPANY NUMBER: ISO 9001. CAN YOU TELL ME ABOUT IT ?

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    Erin Moffitt January 16, 2014

    Hello, we lost a rug in a move so I need to know the value I should claim. It was a hand woven Egyptian cotton rug purchased in Cairo in circa 1998. It was well taken care of and roughly 10’x12′.

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    Steve Biddings June 18, 2016

    I have an Egyptian “style rug.. now it’s actually made in Turkey, but this guy has the only one of it’s kind on Amazon. check it out. Got like a Sphinx and some pyramids on it

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    Richard June 18, 2016

    I can assure you it is a massed produced item.

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    Feroza September 4, 2016

    I’m looking to buy a pure silk rug I’m in Egypt currently can you give me a recommendation where I won’t be ripped off

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    Toni Perry January 24, 2017

    I just purchased a rug made in Egypt. It has a tree/grape vine(s) the full length of it. There are many different kinds of birds, parrots etc… through out the entire tree/vine. There are birds such as peacocks, ostriches, chickens, and turkeys standing on the ground under the tree/vine. There are clusters of grapes hanging on the vine.There are also different kinds of animals in the border such as lions, llamas, deer, bears, horses, sheep and some other creatures I cant make out what they are supposed to be. There are also 10 heads of people/men around the border. The heads are one on each corner- two between the corners on the long sides and one in between the corners on the short sides. The rug measures approx. 8×10. The border is burgundy. The tree/vine is green on a light tan back ground. The animals are various colors. The ends of the rug has white string edges. There is a tag on the back side. It says —ODESSY RUG COLLECTION—MODERN CARPET FACTORY—EGYPT. There is a circle with the letters ISO and the numbers 9001 inside it. Does anybody know anything about this rug? How much is it worth? How old is it? Along one of the edge/side it has been worn down to the string backing so I think there is some age to it. Any information will be greatly appreciated. Thank you. You can email me at —bloodcovenant0918@gmail .com

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    JUNE DIAZ June 12, 2017

    my rug is twisted heatset wool olefin made in egypt royal kashmir 62×90″ how do i clean it and is it worth much