Rugs are considered to be one of the most ancient types of textile. Research has shown that, in order to meet their floor covering, upholstery and blanket requirements, people made rugs by passing wool threads over each other from the bottom and the top and then wove threads between these.
Among the finds from the excavations at Pazırık, in the Upper Altai region of Central Asia, are fragments of textile which nomadic Turks made using the rug weaving technique. During the Seljuk Period, the textile industry developed and rugs are thought to have been the most widespread type of textile.
Since moisture and similar external agent, cause textiles to deteriorate, few of the earliest examples of this handicraft survive. The first examples of Anatolian rug making can be dated to the 16th century.
A blanket fragment in the Washington Textile Museum shows the motif characteristic of Holbein carpets and has a cufic border. Five rugs fragments in the Divriği Ulu Camii in Sivas show similarities in the motif to tile, fabric and palace carpets of the 16th century. A study of the material and weaving technique of these rug fragments indicates that they were specially woven in the palace ateliers.
Their wefts are spliced according to the inclined lines of the motif to form inclined lines, and in some places loops are concealed with single binding. The rug with a carnation motif in crosswise bands in the Hisarbeyoğlu Mustafa Bey Mosque in Kütahya is a 16th or 17th century palace rug. Another rug fragment from the Hekimoğlu Ali Paşa Mosque in İstanbul is similar to 15th century Anatolian rugs with animal figures.
The rug with carnation motif in the Mevlana Museum in Konya is also believed to be a palace rug and shows similarities with the brocades of Üsküdar regarding the motifs.
Rugs are still woven throughout Anatolia. There are some differences in colours and motifs according to the regions where they are produced; and they are called after the names of places (such as Eşme, Karasu, Emirdağ, Sivrihisar) or of tribes (such as Avşar, Yörük, Berihan, Kirkitli). Today, Manisa, Niğde, Konya, Afyon, Sivas, Kayseri, Bergama, Malatya, Gaziantep are important rug producing centers.
On the borders of the rugs are usually seen designs called kanat, karga burnu, su kıyısı, bulut, ceviz, kirpik, kadın başı, çıtır pıtır, su yolu, kirkit, Türkmen küpesi, keklik ayağı, kirtme (kertme), deve boynu, sıçan dişi, burgu.
The background is ornamented with different motifs known as eli belinde, kâküllü kızlar, çifte belli kız, koç boynuzu, gelin zülfü, zelif bağı, karı boşatan, keklik ayağı (muska), kuş çırnığı, turna katarı, tavşan topuğu, kurbağa, yıldız, karnıyarık, eysıran, anahtar, çapraz, çakmak, tarak, pıtrak, ergen bıyığı, geyik dişi, dokuz göbek, başak.