For thousands of years, oriental rugs of all shapes and sizes have graced the homes of people across the Eastern world. From the famous Persian rugs of present day Iran and Afghanistan, to the lesser-known Indian and Chinese variants, all have been used, at some point or other, to decorate and enhance homes, offices, and even palaces.
These rugs, which have been produced all over the Eastern world from Cyprus and Tibet to Turkey and Vietnam, come in a huge variety of different colours, patterns, and designs.
However, one thing they all have in common, no matter where their origin or what their purpose, is their use of symmetry.
This symmetry is created through a range of different techniques. For instance, the patterns of most Persian rugs are woven in a combination of horizontal, diagonal, and vertical lines, all of which serve to create minute patterns that enhance the rug as a whole, yet are still pleasing to the eye when viewed up close.
Another common feature of oriental rugs is their use of a symbol or motif within the pattern of the rug. One common example is the peony. The depiction of this flower, which is used as a symbol for power, often has a vertical line of symmetry. This means that, if a line were to be drawn down the middle of the flower, both sides would be the same, allowing for the motif to appear several times within the pattern of the rug while still retaining the symmetry.
The use of either one or two central medallions is another common feature of the rugs. These draw the attention of the viewer, and create a central point from which each of the symmetrical patterns emanates.
The combination of all of these features, combined with the fine weaving and vibrant colours of each oriental rug, has served to turn these into some of the world’s most revered and admired forms of decoration.