For hundreds of years rug weavers in Turkey used left over wool to spin a thick, tough yarn. They used it to weave rugs called Oushaks which they marketed to anyone who could afford them. At one time they were so plentiful that the Turks used Oushaks as a packing material for large shipments.
Producers sent the tighter woven, more intricate rugs abroad for sale or reserved them for the Turkish aristocracy.
But in the early 20th Century Oushaks got the nod from American Interior Designers and have been enjoying great popularity ever since.
Oushaks are classic and modern at the same time. The ancient patterns are recognizable and fit into the most traditional schemes.
On the other hand the open field design can be uncluttered and clean, getting out of the way of the rest of the room, no matter how spare and modern. Oushaks can be simple enough without overwhelming.
Like many rug-producing countries, Turkey is enjoying the fruits of a modern economy. This is great for the Turks, but probably spells the end of genuine Turkish Oushaks. The weavers there can make more money doing lots of things other than hand-knotting rugs.
Because we seem to be at the end of an era, one that is thousands of years old, I took a chance on some genuine Turkish Oushaks that I originally saw in Istambul. I feel like we have a collection for sale that rivels any in the U.S.
We only have a few shots, but are working hard to photograph them and get them on the site. If you have an interest, we can work with you on the phone and hand shoot pictures to send.