Khotan Rugs

The Kingdom of Khotan was an ancient Buddhist kingdom that was located on the branch of the Silk Road, that ran along the southern edge of the Taklamakan Desert in the Tarim Basin (modern Xinjiang, China), the origin of the Khotan Rugs. The oasis geographical position is the main contributing factor to its success and wealth. The oasis of Khotan is situated in one of the most arid and desolate climates on the earth. However, Khotan is located at the far south of the Taklamakan at the foothills of the Kunlun Mountains, extending along the range for around 40 miles. Khotan was irrigated from the Yurung-kàsh and Kara-kàsh rivers, which water the Tarim Basin. These two rivers produce vast quantities of water which made habitation possible in an otherwise arid climate. The position next to the mountain not only provided irrigation for crops but it also increased the fertility of the land as the rivers reduced the gradient and deposited their sediment, creating a more fertile soil. This, therefore, increased the productivity of the agricultural industry which has made Khotan famous for its cereal crops and fruits. Therefore, Khotan’s lifeline was its vicinity to the Kunlun mountain range and without this Khotan would not have become one of the largest and most successful oasis cities along the Silk Roads.

Khotan is an oasis and an age-old center for international design. From the ornate borders and grand medallions to the stunning repeating patterns, each carpet from Khotan captures a cosmopolitan style that is different than all the other rugs produced in East Turkestan. The city has an ancient crafting culture that includes both silk and carpet weaving. The technique of all-silk Khotan rugs, some of which have areas of metal thread, has been influenced to some degree by the earlier carpets of Persia, but the decoration generally consists of lattice designs bearing clusters of rosettes. Similar designs have been used for woolen carpets, together with triple-medallion schemes in blue on red, pomegranate vines that grow from little vases, or perhaps coffered patterns showing chrysanthemum heads locked into squares. The borders may have Chinese wave and fret patterns or flowering vines. Ṣaffs, multiple prayer rugs for the use of a group, have been woven in wool and silk. Khotan rugs were once called Samarkand rugs after the Central Asian trading center. All the rugs demonstrate the transition the kingdom of Khotan has faced from the beginning until now, encapsulating the long-lasting history. They combine Chinese details with Central Asian design schemes and Vivid Western coloring, except where recent fugitive dyes have reduced their effect to washed-out pastels. Due to its geographical proximity to both Persian and China, Khotan rugs feature predominantly stylized geometric arrangements of traditional Persian motifs that incorporate Chinese design elements. This forked derivation of design allows Khotan rugs a decorative appeal that can adapt to many different tastes and decors. The pomegranate, whether it is depicted as an elegant shrub with symmetric branches or an exquisite seed-filled fruit, is the most important and iconic regional symbol. These local symbols are often paired with faraway accents from Buddhists in the east and Islamic groups in the west. The vast majority of the antique rugs which were woven in the East Turkestan city of Khotan have a style that is all their own. These exceptional rugs make the legends of Marco Polo and the Silk Road come alive. Khotan rugs are versatile and could easily be situated in both modern contemporary or traditional interior decor settings. The exquisite rugs of Khotan harmoniously balance contrasting styles while turning them into local icons.

Showing 1–30 of 32 results

Showing 1–30 of 32 results