Beautiful Antique Kansu Rugs

Antique Kansu carpets were woven with pretty much all different kinds of materials such as silk, cotton and wool. In fact, the Chinese province of Kansu was once an epicenter of rug weaving and design where weavers used silk and / or cotton threads and dyes to turn raw materials into works of art. The magnificently artistic antique Kansu rugs were often embellished with sacred designs that ran the gamut from imperial dragons to symbols belonging to the Tao and Buddhist religions.

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Traditionally, cotton was the preferred warp thread that bound rugs together and added strength to the pile. Additionally, Kansu carpets could be identified by the larger size rug knots that once loomed, produced surprisingly flexible finished area rugs.

Kansu rugs reached a style zenith in the 1800’s. At this point in time, silk was regularly replaced by wool and typical density patterns were made up of 8 horizontal by 8 vertical threads. Asymmetrical rug knots were tied on the left side of carpet and peripheral binding was typically composed of a cord of 3 warps overcast to create every floor covering’s border.

Antique Kansu rug design and manufacture evolves

As time passed, more sophisticated rug looms arrived in Kansu. Even so, a good number of the traditional rug weavers, affiliated with this cottage weaving industry, stuck with the looms that had been passed down through generations. But the rug designs changed to became more cosmopolitan and their production was far more uniform.

By the late 1800’s, Kansu rugs were treasured commodities gaining fame outside China. This was mostly thanks to ancient silk roads that not only brought commercial fame, but increased the prices societies outside China were willing to pay for goods. Most of the Chinese carpet making hubs were located in close proximity to the Great Wall, so this added to Kansu’s trade.

Among the most enthusiastic collectors of antique rugs from Kansu were international royalty. Exotic images and impeccable craftsmanship made these rugs stars of museum collections in addition to being prized home decor / floor coverings — especially in the U.K. where the antique Kansu rugs can be found on display within Asian craft collections.

The antique Kansu carpet tradition remains in hearts, minds and homes

If you’re fortunate enough to encounter one of these 18th century or even earlier works of art, you’ll be charmed by the delicate designs and motifs. For example, you may find a symmetrically balanced antique Chinese Kansu rug that’s lavished with butterflies and flowers dancing around a broad expanse of blue “sky.”

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View our current selection of Chinese antique Kansu rugs below:

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