Oushak rugs, also known as Ushak rugs, have a long and rich history that dates back to the 15th century. The town of Oushak, located in Western Turkey, has been a center of rug production since the early days of the Ottoman Empire.
During the 16th and 17th centuries, were made for use in the palaces, mosques, and other important buildings of the Ottoman Empire. These rugs were highly valued for their intricate designs, soft colors, and fine quality wool.
In the early days of Oushak rug production, the designs were often inspired by Islamic art and architecture. They featured intricate floral and geometric patterns, and the colors were subdued and earthy. The wool used to make these rugs was also of the highest quality, and it was sourced from sheep that grazed on the hillsides surrounding Oushak.
During the 18th and 19th centuries, production underwent some changes. European designers began to influence the designs, and the rugs began to feature larger, bolder designs with more vivid colors. These rugs were exported to Europe, where they were highly sought after by collectors.
In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, underwent another transformation. The demand for these rugs increased, and many rug manufacturers began to produce rugs in larger quantities. The designs became more simplified and the colors more vibrant. This period saw the rise of the "Oushak style" which became popular in Europe and the United States.
During the mid-20th century, the production of Oushak rugs began to decline due to the availability of less expensive machine-made rugs. However, the tradition of making Oushak rugs by hand never completely disappeared, and today these rugs are still handmade in Turkey using traditional techniques and high-quality wool.
Oushak rugs are known for their soft colors, intricate designs, and large scale patterns. They are highly valued by collectors and interior designers around the world for their beauty and quality craftsmanship. The wool used to make these rugs is still sourced from the hillsides surrounding Oushak, and the rugs are made using a combination of hand-knotting and hand-tufting techniques. This allows for a high level of detail and precision in the design, as well as a softness and durability that machine-made rugs cannot match.
In summary, Oushak rugs have a long and fascinating history that has spanned centuries. These rugs have been highly valued by collectors and designers for their beauty, quality, and rich cultural heritage. Today, Oushak rugs continue to be handmade using traditional techniques and the highest quality wool, ensuring that this rich tradition of rug making will continue for generations to come.