Guide to the Meanings Given to Colors in Persian Area Rugs
Area rugs ground a space and pull together the overall color scheme.
The oldest known rug in existence is from the 5th century BCE. The art of rug weaving is ancient and so too are the symbols, styles, motifs. The meaning attributed to these are a way to share stories and pass them down from generation to generation.
Colors used in rugs also convey meaning. The wool is dyed by masters before being passed to the expert artisan weavers.
Before the advent of synthetic dyes plants and minerals were used to create the variety of beautiful colors for the wool.
Multi-colored hand knotted 100% wool area rug 9′x12′
Here we share the traditional meanings commonly attributed to the standard colors used in Persian (Oriental) area rugs:
Red – happiness, joy, beauty, courage, luck
Red colors are produced either from the roots of the Madder plant (madder red), crushed bodies of female insects coccus cacti gens or insect chermes abietis.
Green – paradise, sacred, renewal, spring
Brown – fertility
Browns: come from wallnut fruits covered with green rinds or oak bark.
Yellow/Gold – power, glory
Yellows: they are made from pomegranate skins, vine leaves, saffron or Ox-eye camomile flowers.
Blue – solitude, truth, power
Blues: Dyers Woad Blue is produced from the plant of the same name, which grows and western Anatolia and yields indigo, which is the oldest and most important blue dye!
Orange – devotion, piety, humility
White – purity, peace, cleanliness
The history of rugs is rich with cultural and social significance. Hand made area rugs carry with them a richness or creativity, artistry and meaning equal to all other works of art. Next time we will share a guide to the meanings of common symbols found in hand knotted area rugs.
See these area rugs and many more at any one of the NW Rugs Showrooms in Oregon, California and Nevada.