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92/1303 Rug, knotted pile, dyed unspun fleece, woven by Kurdish woman, south eastern Anatolia, Turkey, 1900-1940. Click to enlarge.

Kurdish knotted pile rug

Long pelt-like rugs, of which this is an example, are made by Kurds from the region around the township of Hakkari, in eastern Turkey. They display simple decorations on both sides, a knotted pile of unspun fleece on one side and supplementary weft and plain weave on the other. The thick pile was apparently used face up in winter and the rug turned over in the summer. This piece with its minimal design and pile imitating an animal pelt probably very closely resembles the original pile carpet …


Object No.


Object Statement

Rug, knotted pile, dyed unspun fleece, woven by Kurdish woman, south eastern Anatolia, Turkey, 1900-1940

Physical Description

Long narrow double-sided wool rug with knotted pile of unspun fleece on one side and flat weave on the other, resulting in quite different patterns. On the knotted fleece side, the wool is primarily dyed red with three large concentric square medallions dyed in blue and white. On the other side, the plain flat weave is worked in bands of red, blue, brown, orange and natural undyed wool. The side borders are ornamented with supplementary weft patterning and the warp threads form long, decorative knotted fringes at each end.


No marks



1380 mm





The rug is hand woven and hand knotted using pre-dyed unspun fleece; the orange dye is synthetic, probably from the azo group of dyes. The Kurdish people of the Van Hakkari region produce coarse pile rugs and kilims of an unusual local character. The palette of older flat weaves from this area seems limited for the most part to dark and light blue, red, white and dark brown. Coarse pile rugs are also made by Kurds in this region. The same construction characteristics apply to these as to other rugs in eastern Turkey. Designed in rows of extremely simplified geometric medallions, the rugs are of the long room sizes typical of eastern Turkey with much dark brown wool found in the warp and ground weft. The Kurds also make plain woven and warp striped bags whose warp ends are almost invariably braided.

The Siirt area (to the west of Hakkari) is famous for a type of plain weave rug loosely woven in black and white goat hair stripes and heavily brushed to create a nap over the design. It is not known over how wide a territory these rugs, which are called 'tulus' and are similar in feel to unspun pile, are produced.



The rug was purchased by the donor from a Kurdish dealer in Konya, central Turkey.


Credit Line

Gift of Ross and Irene Langlands, 1992

Acquisition Date

15 July 1992

Cite this Object


Kurdish knotted pile rug 2021, Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, accessed 27 October 2021, <>


{{cite web |url= |title=Kurdish knotted pile rug |author=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences |access-date=27 October 2021 |publisher=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, Australia}}