Spanish Rugs History and Information
Spanish Rugs History – The history of antique rug wearing in Spain is perhaps the most complex Europe, and certainly among the most complex in the world. This is due largely in part to the unique history and geography of Spain. In the early Middle Ages, Spain was conquered and occupied by Islamic forces from North Africa. During the Islamic occupation, Spain was the first country, in medieval Europe, to make knotted pile rugs. Carpet weaving flourished from the 8th century through most of the 15th century.
The earliest existing carpets made in the 15th century depicted a multi-cultural lineage. Christian, Jewish, Muslim Arab and Berber populations co-existed for eight centuries and their combined artistic influence is reflected in their designs. By the 11th century, Spanish rugs were exported to the Orient, England and France. Muslim and Christian princes and their courts admired and collected these carpets.
By the 17th century, Spain’s economic depression coupled with the expulsion of Jews and Muslim artisans left the country artistically bankrupt. It was only with the help of rich patrons and the support of the monarchy, that the rug industry survived. As a result, Spanish carpet making followed the trends of France and England and the influences of the originality of diversity gave way to a more Western and decorative approach.