What are Aubusson Rugs?
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Aubusson rugs are among the finest rugs in the world. Originating in France in the 15th century, these rugs were traditionally hand-woven from wool, and are now also manufactured from affordable machine-made synthetics without compromising quality or durability. They were also originally a flat-weave design and are still made in this way, but are now also made with pile for carpeting. Regardless of which type of rug you choose, hand-woven or machine made, you will bring a touch of France into your home.
Aubusson rugs were easily distinguished because of their style, featuring a floral medallion and pastel colors. They have since evolved and are now available in a wide variety of colors, patterns, shapes and sizes that will complement almost any décor. They fit well into both formal and casual settings, and are particularly stylish when displayed on hardwood flooring.
Whether the purpose is to accent a room or create a cozy, comfortable living space, Aubusson rugs come in a variety of styles to help you achieve your decorating goal. Once only found in the homes of French aristocrats, an Aubusson rug is now available to anyone who is interested in French décor. In front of the fireplace, under the dining room table, at the foot of the bed, adorning the foyer, or in the hallway, these beautiful rugs make your house a home. They add a unique charm that only this type of rug can bring to a room. They are also durable and perform well in higher traffic areas making them an ideal choice.
When it comes to purchasing new rugs for one or more rooms in your home, choosing an Aubusson rug will bring sophistication and style. You’ll be able to take an ordinary room to extraordinary just by adding one of these beautiful rugs. Check out the extensive selection of Aubusson rugs available at the fine sources at beautifulrug.com. You will also find great information and decorating ideas.
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French Aubusson Rug
Ever wondered how French Aubusson rug and tapestries were made? Originally, they were hand-woven by the talented weavers in the French town of Aubusson. It was a complex, multi-step process that began with the oiling and washing of the raw wool in the pure waters of the River Creuse, the river upon which the town of Aubusson is situated. Following this step, the wool was carded (the process by which individual fibers are separated causing them to lie parallel and most of the remaining impurities removed) and spun into yarn. It took spinners approximately three days to turn one kilogram (2.2 pounds) of rough wool into a double string of yarn one kilometer (0.6 miles) long.
In order to bring color to the wool, it was dyed in a wide range of hues and shades. The dye colors were derived from vegetable and mineral matter, and if a particular color was not readily available, it was the dyer’s job to create it by mixing primary colors together. During the dying process, the wool was dipped in a 95 degree water bath for more than three hours to which the colorings had been added.
Before the actual weaving began, weavers and creators worked together to develop the design of the Aubusson rug, choosing colors and patterns or pictures. The design was then drawn on canvas in an inverted format because Aubusson rugs and tapestries had to be woven from the back, as the weaver was only able to see the reverse side.
Using the drawn pattern as a guide, weavers created Aubusson rugs by an interlacing technique of two elements, the warp and the weft. The warp was generally composed of threads of cotton linen or strong tightened wool, which ran lengthwise and formed the foundation of the rug. The warp was strung between two rollers and kept under tension throughout the weaving process. The weft was composed of the latitudinal wool threads, which were wound around small netting needles called flutes. The flutes were passed between the threads of the warp to create the design of the Aubusson rug. With this technique, weavers were able to produce a flat rug with no pile. The final step of the weaving process occurred when the weaver cut the exterior threads of the weft and the elegant design of the rug or tapestry was revealed for the first time.
Savonnerie and Aubusson Area Rugs
The Renaissance is a period in European history between the 1300s and 1500s marked by a revival of classical art, architecture, literature and learning. It was during this time that both Savonnerie and Aubusson area rugs emerged and grew in popularity in the palaces of royalty and mansions of aristocrats throughout Europe.
Savonnerie and Aubusson rugs share many characteristics including:
- Having the honor of being among the most important styles of rugs in Europe in the 17th and 18th centuries
- Originally being hand-woven
- Copying Baroque and Rococo floral and coloring styles of the 1600s and 1700s
- Influencing Spanish rug weavers in the 18th and 19th centuries
However, Savonnerie & Aubusson rugs also have some key differences that distinguish them from each other. Savonnerie rugs were most prominent between 1650 and 1789 and were:
- Primarily custom woven for palaces by special order
- Designed and produced under the direction of artists of the royal courts
- Woven with naturalistic floral motifs, coats of arms and heraldic devices, and some architectural images
- Largely found on the elegant ceilings of the rooms for which they were ordered
Aubusson rugs, on the other hand:
- Emerged in 1665 from Aubusson France
- Originally copied Turkish styles
- Later designs were simpler versions of Savonnerie styles
- Depicted floral medallions surrounded by naturalistic floral and some architectural motifs
Today, Savonnerie and Aubusson rug styles are copied and produced in India, Pakistan and China. However, the look and feel of both these reproductions has been preserved in order to keep the original Renaissance designs alive for people to continue to enjoy.
When you think of tapestries you probably think of woven decorative wall hangings in European castles or the mansions of aristocrats. Though historically this was certainly the case, today tapestries are available to anyone, and Aubusson tapestries are among the finest.
Aubusson tapestries originate from the late 1500s and were very popular until after the French Revolution and the introduction of wallpaper. However, they made a comeback in the 1930s when artists such as Cocteau, Dufy, Dali, Braque, Calder and Picasso were invited to the town of Aubusson to use the medium of wool to express themselves.
Today Aubusson tapestries are woven from wool and synthetics, are available in a variety of sizes and usually depict green landscapes and hunting scenes. They may also possess a more abstract style. This makes it possible for you to find a tapestry that will fit in with the décor of your home, whether traditional, contemporary, or somewhere in between.
Some ways you might use an Aubusson tapestry in your home are:
- To create coziness in rooms with vaulted ceilings
- To add an elegant focal point to a room
- To absorb sound in a large room
- To create a feeling and richness of French living
- To accent a particular wall or piece of furniture situated below the tapestry
- Whatever your reason for wanting to incorporate tapestries into your living space, the beauty and elegance of Aubusson tapestries will enhance the look and feel of your home in a way that is truly unique.
Aubusson Wool Rugs Design Tips
There are several ways you can use Aubusson wool rugs to spruce up your home. One way is to place the area rug under a coffee table with the seating arranged on the perimeter. This will bring warmth and coziness to a group of furniture in your living room.
Another way is to place a smaller Aubusson area rug under a specific piece of furniture such as a table in front of a window. In this way you can accent the look and feel of a particular piece of furniture. This will draw attention to that piece of furniture and make it the focal point of the room.
Depending on how your furniture is arranged in the bedroom, you can either place an Aubusson area rug at the foot of the bed or the side of the bed. Using an Aubusson area rug in this way will bring a flare of French living to your bedroom and create a rich ambiance.
In the dining room, placing a large Aubusson area rug under the dining room table can transform the room from a simple eating space to an elegant dining area. You’ll be able to entertain your guests in a dining room with a touch of France.
Finally, Aubusson area rugs add a unique charm to an entrance way or foyer. Imagine stepping through your front door and finding the warmth of this type of rug. Your guests will also be awed by the beauty and elegance as they enter your home.
Hopefully these ideas for using Aubusson area rugs in your home have inspired you to give them a try. While they are most effective and notable on hardwood flooring, they can add charm to any room, even on top of existing carpeting.
History of Aubusson Rugs
The history of Aubusson rugs dates back to the Renaissance period. The town of Aubusson is located on the banks of the River Creuse in the Creuse valley of central France, about 200 miles from Paris. Flemish refugees most likely set up the first looms in Aubusson in the 1300s. However, tapestry and rug production did not begin in Aubusson until the 16th century.
Aubusson rugs’ history is rich and a significant part of the revival of the arts of the Renaissance period. They were hand woven flat weave wool rugs and tapestries originally based on Turkish designs. In 1665 and thereafter, Aubusson rug designs were based on the motifs of Savonnerie rugs. Prior to this time, Savonnerie rugs were only available to the King, with design and production overseen by the artists and weavers of the royal courts. With Aubusson rug designs mimicking those of Savonnerie rugs, they became available to anyone who could afford them, typically the upper class and sophisticated aristocracy of Europe.
Classic Aubusson Rugs Characteristics
Classic Aubusson rugs were room-sized, and were intended to be works of art, as well as floor coverings. The color schemes typically included ivory, light blue and rose. The patterns most often had architectural decorations, floral designs, or geometric patterns.
The long history of Aubusson rugs would come to an end around 1870 when production of these rugs ceased in the town of Aubusson. However, for more than two hundred years the weavers at Aubusson created beautiful hand woven rugs that were revered throughout Europe. Today, it is still possible to enjoy these rugs as they continue to be replicated in India, Pakistan, China, and Iran.
Antique Aubusson Rugs
In order to be considered antique, Aubusson rugs must have been produced prior to 1870. This is because these rugs would have been woven in Aubusson itself. Any Aubusson rug made after this time is a replica and therefore likely comes from India, China, Pakistan or Iran.
Collectors of antique Aubusson rugs are primarily interested in finding rugs based on their historical importance or uniqueness. Rug collectors use their knowledge and creativity to see the artistic value of an antique rug. In this way, they are able to see beyond any problems of condition or damage. They are not looking for a rug based on the impression the rug offers. Collectors of antique Aubusson rugs and others are generally known as “rug enthusiasts” and are highly knowledgeable about rugs and tapestries.
In order to ensure you are buying an antique Aubusson rug, it is important to find a dealer with a solid reputation and one you can trust. Make no mistake; if you are passionate about collecting antiques and you are looking to add an antique Aubusson rug to your collection, there are dealers out there who can help you. The best advice we can offer when it comes to entering the world of antique rugs is to do your homework and conduct thorough research.
Perhaps like us, you thought Aubusson designs ended with rugs and tapestries. Not so. It is now possible to add Aubusson pillows to your décor. Aubusson pillows have the same unique design as the rugs and tapestries, but on a much smaller scale. With Aubusson pillows, you can either add to a room you are already decorating in the Aubusson style or you can simply add a taste of Aubusson with a simple decorative throw pillow.
Aubusson pillows add elegance and sophistication to any room. They are a beautiful addition to a sofa, loveseat, or armchair. They can even be placed on your bed in order to bring a touch of Renaissance France to your bedroom. In your foyer, place Aubusson pillows on a deacon’s bench or similar furniture to add an inviting appeal to your entranceway.
As with Aubusson rugs and tapestries, Aubusson pillows are particularly attractive when placed on antique furniture or furniture made to look antique. Used with this style of furniture, these decorative throw pillows will complete the French Renaissance look and bring to life a room with a feel of yesteryear.
Now when you’re thinking about bringing Aubusson rugs and tapestries into your home, you can also complement this look with the addition of Aubusson pillows. With Aubusson pillows strategically placed in various locations throughout your home, you will be able to create an atmosphere that will wow your guests.
Finding beautiful Aubusson pillows online can be a challenge. Here is one site that offers a few Aubusson pillows. Please check back frequently, as we will be adding to our list of places to buy Aubusson pillows online.
Tribal Home: Click on the “search” button and enter “Aubusson Pillows” as your search phrase, or look at all the Kilim pillows.