Chinese Rugs

  • Styles
  • Origin
  • Colour
  • Chinese Rugs
  • Pattern
  • Material

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What Is A Chinese Rug?

    One of the eastern carpets woven in China is the Chinese carpet or rug.

  • Origin: China

    The well-known carpet centres were located inland in the past. Until industrial production took over, Ningxia, Gansu, and Inner Mongolia regions were the primary locations for rug manufacture.

    Today, most rugs come from big cities such as Beijing and Tianjin. Rural provinces like Kansu or Suiyang have a long tradition of weaving. That's why the older carpets come from these areas.

  • Chinese Rug Characteristics

    During this period, China copied weaving techniques and popular floral and geometric designs produced in other weaving countries such as Iran, Turkey, India, the Caucasus area, France and England. Classical Persian, Turkish Hereke, French Savonnerie and flatwoven Aubusson Carpets are popular carpet designs in Chinese weaving areas. Because of their beauty and inexpensive production costs, North American and European dealers in the western world ordered these products and effectively promoted them. The grade quality of these Chinese carpets ranges from medium to exceedingly fine. They're made of a cotton or silk foundation with a wool or silk pile.

    Cooperative factories weave contemporary Chinese rugs. Steel looms, chromium dyes and objective production standards ensure that these rugs are of consistent quality.

  • Common Designs

    The asymmetric knot is used in Chinese rugs, with the symmetric knot appearing occasionally around the edges and ends of early examples. Chinese rugs are not neatly knotted, with knot counts ranging from 30 to 120 per square inch. Asymmetric knots are offset on warps or skip warps at curved borders of colour changes in several early Chinese rugs. Early rugs had no offset warps, whereas later carpets feature offset warps and closed backs.

    The designs on early Chinese carpets are well-drawn and straightforward. Buddhism had a significant effect on the themes, frequently painted on decorative objects, particularly ceramics. The carpets were designed to be used daily or to be used as pillar decorations in temples and palaces. The base of early Chinese carpets is cotton or silk, with a wool pile. Silk pile rugs are rare and can be obtained in the antique trade and at auction. The (asymmetric) Persian knot was usually used. Medallion or allover weaves were used to create the designs. Several medallions on the field with a round or moon-shaped motif were used in some rugs.

    Flowers, lotus, leaves and vines, lion-dogs, birds, landscape scenery, yin and yang, clouds, butterflies, animals, dragons, mountains, falcons, phoenixes, miniature houses, shou themes, vases, good luck knots, swastikas and frets are among the motifs used in the carpet backdrop. Sea waves, pearls, Greek keys, flowers with leaves and vines, and traditional Chinese motifs adorn the central and inner borders.

    Early Chinese carpets are regarded as an art form in the antique market due to their beautiful design and colours. Collectors and customers are eager to have them and are willing to pay a premium price for them.

    Eastern China began to produce pieces with flower motifs in the field in the eighteenth century because of customer demand. During this time, Chinese carpets were famous in Western world markets because the simple and finely designed flower motifs and the use of only three or four colours in the overall rug went well with the decor of American homes. In the antique market, these outstanding weavings are known as "Peking Chinese" carpets. The background is generally ivory, light blue, or dark blue in hue. These three hues were also frequently woven into borders and design rug features, which is a distinguishing feature of the Peking style.

    They have a plain-coloured outer border that can be as wide as three inches. During this time, carpets were produced using a cotton foundation and a wool pile.

    The term "Art Deco Chinese" refers to a second prominent category of carpets. They were popular in the American market throughout the 1920s and 1930s and were made in China. The base of these carpets is cotton, with severely pounded wefts and a thick wool pile. The designs are typically in the open field style, with flowers, flowering branches, small cottages, or vases in one or two corners of the carpet; birds and butterflies are occasionally incorporated.

  • Common Colours: Pink, Orange, Brown, Yellow, Green, Blue, Black, Grey

    First and foremost, they showcase a variety of distinct and original designs that are rarely copied in other carpet-making locations. The second feature is the wide range of colours used in the background and borders, including pink, orange, brown, cinnamon, maroon and yellow. The rugs were also resilient and hefty to handle, which was the third feature. Walter Abner Burns Nichols (1885-1960), an American entrepreneur, produced Art Deco Chinese carpets, especially in northeastern China, through his company Nichols Carpets. Carpet traders refer to Art Deco Chinese rugs as "Nichols Chinese" in the antique market.

  • Material: Cotton, Wool, Silk

    Natural materials determined rug weaving in the past. With a high, soft pile, rugs were created using wool or silk yarn, cotton warp threads and usually thick knots.

  • The History Of Antique Chinese Rugs

    China is an East Asian country and an old civilisation with a strong cultural and artistic identity that spans millennia. The silkworm was first cultivated by the imperial court and noblewomen in China in 2640 BCE.

    After several centuries, silk became a lucrative product and was used in garment making, which revolutionised Chinese trade. The historical Silk Road was constructed during the Han Dynasty, which ruled from 206 BCE to 220 CE and advanced China by facilitating trade between the Middle East and Europe.

    Rugs from the second century BCE have been discovered in recent excavations in western China. In the market, there are knotted piled carpets from China dating back to the sixteenth century. Tibetan weavers are credited with spreading rug-making processes and designs to mainland China. Piled carpets were produced early in the Tibetan region of southwestern China, and Tibetan weavers are credited with introducing rug-making techniques and designs to mainland China.

    A series of Imperial carpets were manufactured for the Forbidden City palaces during the late Ming Dynasty (mid-sixteenth to mid-seventeenth century), several of which are preserved in Beijing's Palace Museum. For the royal court, these carpets were produced in gigantic sizes. It's unclear where they were manufactured, although they're thought to have been woven in a Beijing studio or in Ningxia, in western China.

    Baotou, Kansu, Ningxia, Peking, and Tientsin were all-important weaving centres in China. Kashgar, Khotan, and Yarkand, historical eastern Turkestan cities that manufactured popular carpets beginning in the seventeenth century, were conquered by China in 1884.

    The earliest rugs for the royal court were created in China a long time ago. It was around 2,000 years ago at the time. Porcelain painting or silk weaving designs determine the antique rugs. Dragons that look particularly menacing, for example, have Taoist and Buddhist inspirations.

    Modern knotting techniques are used to create carpets that are orientated to Persian models. Chinese rugs are quite durable, as they are made of industrially produced wool and treated with chrome colours. The big cities of Beijing and Tianjin are the main centres of production. Smaller production facilities can be found in other areas. Ningxia or Beijing are two common rug names.

    Rugs from Manchuria, Mongolia and Xinjiang are also considered to be Chinese. Northern China was the primary source of rugs. Around 100 BCE, a Chinese saddle blanket from Lop Sanpra was discovered. A few piled rugs from the Ming era have been found. China's domestic piled rug production was minimal until around 1890 when export production began. Ningxia, Baotou, Suiyuan and the cities of Gansu are among the rug-weaving centres that predate rug production for export.

    Mongolian traditional rugs are quilted felt rugs (shirdeg or toiruulga). There are felt tent flaps and mats that are similar (olbog). It is highly speculative to attribute antique piled carpets (xives) to Mongolia. The first rugs with this designation are from the nineteenth century. These rugs are influenced by Chinese design. The field is made up of little geometrical motifs that are arranged in a dense pattern all over. Spandrels may be used in some designs. The predominant hues are red and pink. Rugs are small in size. The basis is cotton, and the knot is asymmetric.

    There are no warp offsets and double wefts are used. A piled rug factory was established in Ulan Bator, the capital, in 1925. Low-quality piled carpets in Chinese designs with very brilliant colours on a cotton substrate are currently being produced.

    Rug production for export began in Beijing late in the nineteenth century and in Tianjin around the turn of the century. Foreign enterprises came to dominate the Chinese rug industry, and Tianjin became the hub of large-scale commercial production from 1910 to 1930. The United States was the leading importer of Chinese rugs in the early twentieth century. The year 1925 was the zenith of rug manufacturing and export to the United States. The Japanese invasion in the early 1930s put a stop to rug manufacture.

    Commercial production on a large scale did not resume until the 1960s.

    During the 1920s, Helen Fette, often known as "Fette Chinese," directed the production of a new style of carpet for the American market in eastern China. Fette, an American who was once a missionary in China, founded the Fette-Li Company in Peking with Chinese carpet producer Li Meng Shu. Vases, flowers, floral bouquets, blooming branches, birds and butterflies are among the motifs found on the carpets, which are usually open-field types. The rugs were made of excellent, gleaming wool with a thick pile. The foundation technique used by Fette-Li products was lighter than that used by Nichols Chinese carpets.

    The field and border colours of Fette carpets found in the ancient rug market are mainly maroon, ivory, or dark and light blues. Green, yellow, brown, black, grey, pink, lavender and turquoise were also used for design elements and, on occasion, for the background and borders, in addition to these hues.

    China began producing a new line of carpets with gleaming wool and a high pile in the 1960s. The French Savonnerie Carpets' style, which was popular in the American market, was a popular design. To make the designs stand out, weavers trimmed around flower motifs.

    These carpets were advertised as "70 line" "90 line" and "120 line" Chinese carpets, depending on their quality. The number of knots in a linear foot is represented by the line count; the higher the number, the finer the rug.

    In the last quarter of the twentieth century, the People's Republic of China opened up commerce to the world market, and carpet production increased dramatically across the country. In addition to the historical weaving centres, several towns and cities began mass-producing carpets, making China the world's largest supplier of Oriental carpets.

    Handwoven and machine-made Chinese Aubusson design rugs and French Aubusson carpets are available nowadays in limited supply.

  • Why Choose London House Rugs?

    At London House Rugs, we are rug experts. We've spent over four decades perfecting our process and establishing long-term, ethical relationships with weavers all over Asia. A London House Rug goes through thorough and rigorous sourcing, manufacturing and finishing processes to ensure its quality and beauty.

    We spend a lot of time searching for the best carpets in the Middle East and forming long-term, ethical partnerships with weaving cooperatives. We have a large selection of new and antique rugs in various sizes available.

    We collaborate with individuals and businesses to design, manufacture and locate carpets for a variety of applications. Please see some of our recent projects to get an idea of the broad spectrum of services we offer, ranging from a single hearth rug for your own house to a hundred handcrafted carpets for a hotel rollout.

    Because we have over 40 years of experience, we can assist you in finding the perfect rug for your space.