Magnificent Antique Turkish Ghiordes Saf Prayer Rug, Country of Origin: Turkey, Circa Date: 1920 – This rug is a rare and beautiful find that does not come around often. It features a design known as a saf. A saf is a rug design that features multiple prayer niches, or mihrabs. This type of rug was designed for the special purpose of daily prayer in the Islamic faith. If one cannot be near a mosque when the time comes for daily prayers, this rug could be placed on the ground and oriented correctly so that the prayers could be recited appropriately.
The mihrab is a representation of the prayer niche of a mosque. It often has designs similar to those found on the walls of the prayer niche. This one is made to be used by multiple people at once. In today’s market, a saf is a rare find, and this one from the 1920s is an excellent example. This rug has been used heavily for the purpose intended and will make an excellent addition to a collection.
The rug is made from wool and cotton, as were many of the rugs created after the turn of the 20th century. Before that, most were all wool. Another thing that makes this rug unique is that it uses the ghiordes or symmetrical knot. This knot requires wrapping the wool around two warp threads instead of one. This creates a stronger, more durable fabric, and it also takes considerably longer to weave than those that use the Persian knot. The handle of the fabric is often stiffer, suggesting the practical, rather than decorative, intention of this rug.
This rug was once a part of the daily practice of Islam and is an important piece of cultural heritage. The colors are beautiful and have been softened over time. Our team of knowledgeable rug experts will be happy to answer any questions you might have about this piece or any other of the fine rugs in our collection.