Antique Romanian Rugs – Across Europe, rug making has been an important aspect of cultural heritage. This is particularly true of Romania, where the word for carpet is “scoarta”. Romanian rug makers use the kilim technique. The Turkish word kilim denotes a pileless textile produced by a flat-weaving technique. These Romanian rugs, that are usually refereed to as Bessarabian kilim rugs, were traditionally made as gifts for family members and were often passed down through generations. Made in 3 main regional traditions, Oltenia, Moldova and Maramures, these rugs represent a beautiful extension of Romania’s cultural heritage.
The Romanian Oltenia rugs were produced in the Southern Romanian province of Oltenia, these vibrant rugs are known for using predominantly strong colors such as red and blacks against green or sandy-colored backgrounds.
The Romanian Moldova rugs are much rarer than their counterparts from Oltenia and are known to feature floral motifs. Roses are particularly popular in Moldovian designs, but one can also find lilies, blossoms, grapes and leaves. The colors used in these Romanian rugs are often softer, with dark brown or light cream backgrounds. The geometric designs, floral motifs, and subdued colors make Moldovian rugs easy to spot.
The Romanian Maramures rugs were made in Northern Transylvania and often feature designs that borrow heavily from Oriental rug makers. Animals and flowers are common in the Maramures rugs from Transylvania, though some geometric designs can be found as well. The style of weaving used to produce these rugs allows for a beautiful two-sided display, rather than resulting in a rug where only one side is presentable.
Traditional rug making is one of the most enduring ways for people to pass on their cultural heritage and beliefs. Though often distinctive according to the region where they were produced, hand-woven rugs do more than decorate walls or warm beds. They remain a constant reminder of bygone days and otherwise forgotten tradition. Often handed down for generations, many well-cared for rugs will fetch large sums of money from art collectors and museums. To descendants of these Romanian artisans who wove and hand-dyed the rugs, they are priceless artifacts that offer future generations a sense of tradition and continuity.
View our current collection of antique Romanian rugs below: