View our current selection of antique Egyptian rugs below:
Learn More About Antique Egyptian Rugs and Carpets
Antique Egyptian Rugs – Ottoman workshops produced a variety of carpet designs with familiar elements of flowers, palmettes, lotuses, medallions, arabesques, cloud bands. Rugs will all-wool construction thought to come from Cairo–established rug-weaving center when conquered by the Ottomans in 1517. Mamluk rugs have a limited palette of colors, geometric patterned design and used the Senneh or Persian knot.
Among the lesser known antique rug centers of the world is Egypt, but lesser known does not equate to lesser in terms of quality, color, design, and historical robustness. Perhaps Egyptian rugs remain inconspicuous in the world of antique rugs because Egypt lies in the shadow of some of the world’s rug producing giants of yesterday and today (Persia and Turkey for two). Regardless, Egyptian rugs, particularly those woven in Cairo during the 16th and 17th centuries, are some of the most beautiful rugs ever woven given their unique and lively color palette and ancient design motifs.
Egyptian Rugs Through The Middle Ages
Beginning in 1250, the Mamluk Sultanate ruled over Egypt until the Ottomans conquered the old lands in 1517. During their almost 200 year rule, the Malmuk people became known for their skills in trade and craft. Mainly working with wood and metals, they also created unique floor cloths called “Damascene” rugs, with the center of its production being based in Cairo.
Unlike many of the world’s cultures who made rugs in the 1300’s, the Mamluk incorporated both counterclockwise and clockwise spun wool the manufacturing processes of their Egyptian rugs. The main colors used in the weaving of these ornate carpet workings were pale blue, light green, and a bright red that helped define the shapes in the artistic plan. At the end of the Mamluk rule in Egypt, the craftsmen and weavers in the lands adopted some of the designs of their Ottoman counterparts, telling a story about the conquests of the Ottoman Empire in the art.
Adornments, intricate flowers, and celestial shapes were part of the overarching design of the old artwork, which is extended in lines along the carpet’s surface. The image designs on the surface of the Egyptian rugs have similarities to the floor mosaics that were also made by the Mamluk. These elaborately crafted rugs were mainly manufactured for the courts, but some Mamluk craftsmen were able to export their works to countries like Italy where the Demascene floor cloths were in high demand and price. The manufacturing of these ornate antique Egyptian rugs continued on through the early 1600’s.