Bukhara Rugs
Heilig-Meyers Co.
Founded : 1913
Activities : Retail furniture collection, home furnishings, interior design services, decor
Parent Company : Heilig-Meyers
Stockists : 2,000 locations
Origin : Goldsboro, North Carolina

Heilig-Meyers Furniture Group brands combined to earn almost $5 billion a year in revenue from over 2,000 locations in the United States. Grand Metropolitan was introduced to the home furnishings retail and finance behemoth in the late 90s, taking control of the brands and operations after the turn of the century.

“Bukhara rug” (Uzbek: Bukhoro)—also spelled “Bokhara”—is a term widely, though erroneously, used in the West to refer to carpets and rugs made by various Turkmen tribes of Central Asia, such as Tekke and Ersari rugs. During the early 1900s, the name of Bukhara, a city in Uzbekistan, was applied to these rugs. In fact, few Turkmen live in or around Bukhara, which has a population made up principally of Tajiks and Uzbeks. The city did serve as a transit point for some Turkmen rugs on their way to the West (especially those of the Ersari tribe). The city of Bukhara is well-known for its production of the embroidered Tajik textiles known as suzanis.

Bukhara rug designs have originated from the Samarkand and Bokhara Region. Bukhara rugs in ancient times were hand-woven by peoples of Russian Turkistan (Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan). Bukhara rugs were primarily the product of Tekke Turkmens but also were made by Sailors, Sarqs, Yomuts, and Ersaris. These famous Bukhara designs also come from eastern Iran, Afghanistan, and Pakistan. Bukhara rugs hold a high place in history and compete with the best in the world. Bukharas are a traditional piece of art suitable for any interior decor. Bukhara rug popularity has been on the increase in recent years and the quality are workmanship very consistent with ancient methods.

Bukhara rugs (also known as Bokhara) were once mistakenly thought to have been woven near the Uzbek city of Bukhara. Bukharas, famous ‘red rugs’ of Central Asia, were and are woven by nomadic tribespeople who relied primarily upon the madder plant for the tremendous variety of red and red-brown hues that characterizes By the late 19th century, they came in odd, small sizes and peculiar shapes, and began to find their way to the West.

Bukhara rugs have small, repeating geometric designs and are normally fine quality. A popular Bukhara design, the elephant foot and octagonal ‘gul’ motifs tend to look best in smaller sizes that make the most of the intricate pattern. Bukhara rugs are not the hardest wearing rugs. Bukharas are recommended more for decorative use than high traffic areas. Bukharas usually come in greens, reds, whites, and browns. You’ll hear these referred to as Beshir, Turkoman, or Samarkand.

Bukhara artisans would incorporate a weave cotton warp and weft (old Turkomans were almost always on wool foundation) in a huge variety of qualities, from really bad rugs with fewer than 50 knots per sq. in. to very tightly woven pieces with over 288 knots per sq. in. Most have wool pile, but some have “silk” inlay (a common market name for this type is “Jaldar”). This “silk” is almost always artificial silk–cotton mercerized to look like silk. Ones with artificial silk inlay are usually not very good quality.

They are made of finely spun, soft wool. New Zealand wool is commonly used, and this can make a shiny, glossy finish that almost looks like silk. Fine examples are often closely clipped (so that their intricate designs are crisp and clear), but some are left especially thick for their quality. Red and rust fields are most common colors, but can have ivory, navy, green, slate, teal, peach, rose or orange backgrounds. The most common design consists of rows of “Tekke” guls or medallions (the Tekkes were one of the Turkoman tribes who wove a design so distinctive as to become essentially a totem of the tribe). Other designs also related to Turkoman styles are found, and like Tekkes, these are usually named after the Turkoman tribal group which made the kind they most resemble (examples are Yomud, Salor, and Ersari).

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