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Have You Seen This Feature in a Rug?

May 21, 2021 2 min read

In all the rugs that I’ve seen, motifs are placed side-by-side.

Too often in tribal rugs,in the event of a space constraint while weaving, when the spatial plan is such that there isn’t sufficient space for the motif to be woven in completely as the borders need to be unbroken, the weavers just truncate the motif and leave it incomplete.

I’ve seen several animals and flowers all left incomplete just to accommodate some other feature.

Such as this one. The flowers at the top edge of the field cannot be completely executed and have had to be cut to accommodate the border. This compromise is common in tribal rugs, in my experience.

But in my journey in the discovery of old art, for the first time I’ve come across the concept of overlap.

Where the weaver chose to place one motif on top of another – instead of beside it. As a result, the motif beneath has been covered up and is only partially visible. The compromise chosen in this rug is different from the one that I’ve seen in others and this is my first.

Maybe I am not exposed enough – maybe I have seen too little.

But here are pictures of this overlap that I’ve found interesting.

And here is the whole rug for reference:

So now that my eyes have been alerted to this new phenomenon, I shall re-examine the books and all of my rugs.

Maybe I was just blind to this earlier. Or maybe underexposed.

Let’s see if we can find other examples. Do share if you have come across others.

p.s. the Shekarlus above can be seen here.




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