Antique Kirshehir rugs, are woven in Kirshehir, a city in central Turkey. Turkish Kirshehir rugs are valued for their rich color, excellent wool, and the geometric vitality of their drawing. Kirshehir weavers are most well known for their prayer rugs, but they also produced a a distinctive form of long rug or runner. These antique rugs may utilize traditional Turkish motives, but some with relatively naturalistic floral designs were probably produced by Armenians settled in this area.
This rug weaving region is famous for the unique designs of its prayer rugs and its long rugs, which are known as runners. The colors of these Oriental rugs are usually vibrant, and run the range from green, yellow, clay-brown, violet, and red. Traditionally the rug weavers would make these bright hues by only using natural dyes, including dye derived from the cochineal insect to create the bright scarlet tints these rugs are famous for. The designs are unique to the Anatolian region, though artistic influences stemming from the French Empire can be seen in more recently woven rugs.
The prayer rugs of Kirshehir feature an arch above a prayer niche, or mihrab. As with all other prayer rugs, the mihrab is meant to be pointed towards Mecca during prayer. The mihrabs of Kirshehir prayer rugs are one of the ways that these rugs can be told apart from other prayer rugs, as their design is unique to the region. Usually the mihrab of a Kirshehir rug will be bright red in color and have a step motif on their tops. The mihrab frequently is outlined in a complementary color, helping make the red stand out. Also common to the designs of this region are tiny carnations woven into the borders of these tribal rugs.