Persian Rug Colors and Their Meanings

The Meaning and Significance Of The Different Colors In Persian Rugs

Shop All Antique Persian Rugs | View All Modern Vintage Persian Rugs | View All Rugs By Color

Also: Learn About The Different Types of Carpet Dyes and Rug Color Dyestuff

Through their use of colors and design, the luxurious and intricate, Persian rugs capture the detailed history and artistry of some of the world’s most ancient and influential culture. Created in the present day country of Iran and including some of the surrounding regions, each rug weaves a tapestry of character and narration in its motifs. The rug weaving materials, colors, patterns and designs of these special Persian rugs all tell a unique story and serve as a testament to the extraordinary history of their rug origins.

Consider the Persian Senneh rug Knot: This asymmetrical rug knot allows rug makers to craft intricate works fluidly. Persian rugs are designed to tell a story. Each craftsman has a narrative in mind when they select the colors and the patterns / motifs for their original rug. In order to truly appreciate these beautiful works and how all of their hues work together, you must first learn about the meaning of each individual color.

The Meaning and Significance Of The Different Colors In Persian Rugs by Nazmiyal Antique Rugs

The Meaning and Significance Of The Different Colors In Persian Rugs

What Is The Meaning Of Green Color in Persian Rugs

Throughout the world, green is a color rooted in prosperity, balance, health and growth. Green, like the vibrant forests and crisp spring leaves, represents rebirth and new opportunity. In area rugs from Persia, green is not the most common color, but when it appears, it’s one of the most important features of a design.

According to the Quran, Mohammed’s favorite color was “emerald green“. Partially because of this, not many everyday Persian rugs are not likely to feature such a prestigious and sacred shade. That said, you do see extravagant Persian carpets that feature green colors.

Antique Sultanabad Green Color Persian Rug #42986 by Nazmiyal Antique Rugs

Antique Sultanabad Green Color Persian Rug

You are likely to find green used more liberally in Persian carpets where the color represents hope and life’s mesmerizing, unconquerable force.

Double dyeing carpet threads with natural blues and greens give weavers the rich greens you find in the different types of area rugs today. Blue was originally obtained from indigo plants; after ancient craftsmen dyed wool blue, it was dyed yellow using the vibrant natural hues of wild flowers such as Saffron and Larkspur. In some places, vine leaves and buck thorn would also be used. The paint from the Indigo plants and flower extracts came together to produce a majestic green that served as a beautiful honor to the Prophet Mohammed.

Click here to view Our: Collection Of Green Colored Area Rugs

What Is The Meaning of Red Color in Persian Rugs

Red is associated with feelings of passion and vitality. Depending on the hue, red can be a soft, warm shade or a vibrant and energizing color. People use red colors to express exciting emotions and grab people’s attention. Red is also the color of blood and fire, two powerful symbols and forces of nature.

Red is often used in Persian rugs to create wonderful designs and a wide array of visual effects. Makers of early rugs used the color red to create emphasis in their designs; the bright color created a powerful impact that spotlighted important areas of a motif.

Picture of the Large Antique Red Color Persian Tabriz Rug #49196 from Nazmiyal Antique Rugs in NYC

Large Antique Red Color Persian Tabriz Rug

Red was most frequently crafted from madder root, which was known for its rich red carpet dye. There were many other natural sources of red for craftsmen to choose from including insects and flowers. Snails and beetles, flowers and weeds were used to dye wool from goats and sheep. The end result was a striking Persian red that filled people with joy and courage.

In Asia, red also symbolizes luck. It is customary for many Asian brides to adorn themselves in red when they marry.

Click here to view Our: Collection Of Red Colored Area Rugs

What Is The Meaning of Blue Color in Persian Rugs

Blue is a tranquil color designed to bring people a sense of inner peace. In many cultures, blue is also strongly associated with trust and loyalty. After red and beige, blue is one of the most common colors used in Persian rugs, though its history isn’t easy to trace.

There aren’t many resources in nature that produce a blue shade, so ancient Persian artisans had to seek out alternative sources. Blue was originally extracted from a Woad plant, but the color did not hold well and soon faded. Today, we would call the shade derived from the Woad plant pastel.

Picture of the Large Antique Navy Blue Color Persian Tabriz Rug #49375 from Nazmiyal Antique Rugs in NYC

Large Antique Navy Blue Color Persian Tabriz Rug

The discovery of the Indigo plant transformed Persian rug design. Its rich sapphire hue now stands as a symbol of power in rug design while also paying testament to the afterlife. However, it isn’t all bleak. The solitude captured in the essence of indigo blue Persian rugs are often married to hopeful motifs expressing the hope for life after death.

Click here to view Our: Collection Of Blue Colored Area Rugs

What Is The Meaning of Gold and Yellow Colors in Persian Rugs

Yellow and gold are two colors often considered distinct; yellow is typically associated with happiness and energy, while gold is considered the color of opulence and refinement. However, both yellow and gold share the same etymological roots. Both originate from the Indo-European base “gold” which means “yell” or “cry out.” The origin is fitting as both colors demand attention wherever they’re featured.

Persians associate the color yellow with radiance, such as the light from the sun or the joy of living. Yellow colors for Persian rugs were taken from pomegranates, vines, Saffron and a flower called Ox-eye chamomile. Gold was mixed with brown and symbolized wealth, power and prestige in old designs. Due to its esteemed reputation, gold was only featured in Persian rugs designed for royalty or prominent families.

Picture of the Antique Large Yellow Gold Color Persian Tabriz Rug #49319 from Nazmiyal Antique Rugs in NYC

Antique Large Yellow Gold Color Persian Tabriz Rug

In order to add a sense of luxury to a carpet, golden threads would be woven throughout the design. This practice, which can still be found in many contemporary Persian rugs, creates a subtle yet unmistakable splendor.

Click here to view Our: Collection Of Yellow Colored Area Rugs

What Is The Meaning of Brown Colors in Persian Rugs

The color of soil, brown in Persian rugs represents the mother planet, Earth, and serves as a sign for fertility. Brown shades in ancient designs were derived from tree bark and walnuts, which were available in great abundance throughout the Orient.

Large Tribal Room Size Antique Persian Malayer Rug Nazmiyal

Large Brown Tribal Room Size Antique Persian Malayer Rug

Click here to view Our: Collection Of Brown Colored Area Rugs

What Is The Meaning of Beige and White Colors in Persian Rugs

White is universally accepted as the color of purity and innocence. Persian weavers held this same belief, and white was often mixed with beige to create various designs. The exact shade of white or beige would vary depending on the type of undyed wool used in a particular rug.

Picture of the Antique Large Oversized White Beige Color Persian Tabriz Rug #47259 from Nazmiyal Antique Rugs in NYC

Antique Large Oversized White Beige Color Persian Tabriz Rug

White and beige made excellent bases and accents in Persian rugs.

Click here to view Our: Collection Of Cream / Ivory / White Colored Area Rugs

What Is The Meaning of Black  Colors in Persian Rugs

Black is a powerful color with an equally powerful meaning. People tend to associate the shade with feelings of darkness. To Persians, black stood for death and destruction. Black can be overwhelming in a design, so it was not used often in original Persian rugs.

Antique Caucasian Karabagh Soumak Black Color Background Rug #42622 by Nazmiyal Antique Rugs

Antique Caucasian Karabagh Soumak Black Color Background Rug #42622

Persian weavers rarely used black to create their motifs, but instances of it could be applied to the outline for accent or detailing. Natural black dyes were made from oak tree galls, iron or tannin. The strength of the ingredients translated into the meaning of the color.

Click here to view Our: Collection Of Black Colored Area Rugs

What Is The Meaning of Orange Colors in Persian Rugs

Orange is a humorous color associated with fire and excitement. While Western cultures view orange as a symbol for unconventionality and adventure, the meaning is much more revered in the east. In Asia, orange is often associated with Buddhism and Hinduism.

Rustic Orange Color Oversized Antique Turkish Oushak Rug #71632 by Nazmiyal Antique Rugs

Rustic Orange Color Oversized Antique Turkish Oushak Rug #71632

The spiritual connotation of orange throughout the East makes it the optimal choice for rug craftsmen who wish to express piety and humility as well as faith and devotion. Yellow and red hues were mixed to create varying shades of orange in old designs. The union of these resources to create the stimulating color perfectly exemplifies the sense of wholeness it represents.

Persian Rug History Lives On

Today, Persian rugs are still intricately hand crafted and cherished by millions of people around the world. Many families have been keeping the ancient meaning of colors in Persian rugs alive by designing rugs and telling stories through their threads for centuries. While modern innovations make Persian rug making and weaving area rugs easier, the esteemed history holds a special place in Persians heart as it depicts their people’s passion, reverence and greatest values.

Learn more: The Complete History and Timeline of Persian Rugs

This rug blog post that talks about what the meaning behind the colors that we see in Persian rugs was published by Nazmiyal Antique Rugs

Related News

Armenian Carpet Making History by Nazmiyal Antique Rugs

Armenian Carpet Making History

Lets take a closer look at the facinating history and magnificent beauty of the Armenian...

Rug Questions and Answers by Nazmiyal Antique Rugs

Rug Questions and Answers

We at Nazmiyal Rugs get so many rug related questions every single day! So, to...

Decorator Harry Cushing on Shopping for Antique Rugs by Nazmiyal Antique Rugs

Decorator Harry Cushing on Shopping for Antique Rugs

What do decorators look for when shopping for antique rugs? Who would be better to...

Shopping Cart