It's believed that Turkish area rugs were first produced in central Asia by nomadic people who needed protection from the harsh weather conditions in the region. The weave used in Turkish area rugs provided excellent water proofing qualities and was used in tent materials, saddlebags and for rugs. The oldest Turkish rug is 2500 years old and has a knot count of 255 knots per square inch.
Turkish rugs or kilims are famous for their rich colors and their designs inspired by animals and floral scenes. Their exquisite designs reflected the culture. Turkish rugs are often have long, loose piles that feel soft and pliable.
As you shop for Turkish area rugs, find out if they are machine-made or woven by hand (tufted weaves). The knot density may range from 40 to 1000 knots per inch. Price rises with the density. Check whether natural or synthetic fibers were used and whether synthetic or natural dyes were used to color them. Hand-tufted area rugs are often made of natural fibers while machine made rugs can be made of either natural or man-made products. Ask about how you will clean and maintain your area rugs, how stain resistant they are and whether an underlay is needed.
Traditional Turkish area rugs are woven with wool and silk, or sometimes with cotton. Synthetic rugs mimicking Turkish patterns are made from Olefin, nylon or polyester that replicate Turkish. Prices start at around $100 for smaller rugs (5'3"x7'9").
Kilim Area Rugs
Turkish area rugs that have no piles are called kilims. They are usually reversible and are different from a normal rug in that it is flat-woven. These rugs are produced in a variety of sizes, colors and patterns and can be created with a blend of materials such as, wool, cotton, and silk. New hand-woven wool kilims (4'6'' X 5'8'') can start at around $200.