More Designers are Using Rug Art or Vintage Textiles on Walls and Redefining Textile Art

Textile Art and antique rugs are part of an artistic weaving tradition that spans the globe. Over thousands of years, textiles completed an incredible evolution from a humble handcraft to a high art with extreme aesthetic and cultural value. Artistic textile weaving is a diverse tradition that accommodates all of the cultures that embrace the craft. Textiles are pure cultural artifacts that reflect local superstitions and often have artistic immunity from outside influences.

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In its most rudimentary form, textile weaving was a way to produce clothing and practical cloths for daily use. As technology advanced, textiles became more and more artistic. Embroidered embellishments and complex woven decorations helped these cultural textiles become a great art form. The function of these artistic textiles is not purely decorative, however. Some shamanic cloths from Laos were used in rituals while Kente cloth garments were made for prestigious members of the community.

Vintage Textiles from Europe often feature refined decorations and elaborate compositions that are purely decorative. Chinese rank badges, on the other hand, use flamboyant symbols that were part of a complex status system. Even the small country of Uzbekistan has a unique textile tradition in the decorative Suzani embroideries, which certainly qualify as works of art.

These beautiful textiles are highly complex assemblages that require many labor-intensive processes. Phenomenal Ikat fabrics and the flamboyant fabrics used in Chyrpi coats require dyed threads to be arranged in elaborate patterns before the weaving begins. African Kente cloths are woven in narrow pieces that are stitched together, and this time-consuming technique produces a distinctive checkerboard effect.

Textiles have alluring decorative features that are supported by layers of symbolism. These works of art don’t only have fabulous colors and exceptional decorations. They also have a particular texture and visual style that can enrich any interior.

These outstanding textiles are multi-dimensional works of art that are made to be appreciated vintage textiles from around the world still represent the foundation of ancient traditions that these handicrafts were built upon.

Textile Arts and The Birth of Decor

Textiles are highly decorative, universal pieces of art made across the world, throughout every culture. While some textile art is solely meant for display, others are functional, created in the form of saddle covers, bags, and jackets. Textile arts are directly associated with the history of international trade as well, due to its portability.

Tapestry art has flourished over the decades, and even centuries. While the earlier pieces are now ancient antiques, there are vintage textiles as well. Throughout history, the textile arts have been used to commemorate important events, individuals, and places of significance. As a result, these exquisite and rare pieces of art have become prized collectors items.

Textile Arts - Henry Prince of Wales, Nazmiyal
This portrait demonstrates the functional, decorative, and social aspects of textile arts. Pictured: Henry Frederick, Prince of Wales by Robert Peake the Elder, 1610.

Since the birth of civilization, Textile arts have been a fundamental part of culture and how we express ourselves. So without further ado, let us share just a few of our favorite textile pieces from the Nazmiyal Collection…

Moving Rugs from Underfoot to Eye-Level Textile Art

When you find the rug of your dreams, it can be a nightmare to even think about putting furniture on it. Countless carpets are covered up by long sofas and bedroom sets, leaving their captivating beauty a secret.

But, rugs don’t have to stay on the floor. More and more designers are moving these woven masterpieces from underfoot to eye-level, and redefining the realm of wall art. “I love rugs on the wall,” an interior designer told me recently at an industry event. “If you have something that beautiful, you should show it off!”

Abstract Textile Art by Nazmiyal
Abstract Textile Art

The designer was commenting on the hanging of a bold shag Moroccan rug on the wall of a luxury apartment entry. The unexpected adornment worked, because the pile and color of the rug brought a tangible element to the space that was both modern and inviting.

Of course, hanging rugs on the wall isn’t a groundbreaking trend. Textile art is a design element with roots as deep as civilization, hung in caves, courts and castles as an art form all to themselves.

But the trend has evolved away from the display of intricate, detailed portrait pieces to showcase the texture and patterns of rugs. The look is most traditionally done with Suzani embroideries, decorative pieces and smaller antique rugs.

Antique Uzbek Suzani Embroidery as Textile Art by Namziyal
Antique Uzbek Suzani Embroidery as Textile Art

But with the help of simple DIY techniques, larger rugs with more character can become vibrant wall hangings. Casting, for example, involves sewing a strip of heavy cotton or linen onto the back of a rug. A metal bar slightly shorter than the rug  is inserted into the casting, acting like a curtain rod that balances the rug on the wall with angled screws or nails.

Another method is mounting a rug on a linen covered frame, effectively turning the rug into art itself. Bringing rugs beyond the floor isn’t just an aesthetic trick. It can also extend the life of a cherished, but well worn piece. And, it can be an interior design life saver by adding surprising style to an unusual wall space.

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View our current selection of antique textiles below:

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Showing 1–32 of 118 results