Rug Books (A Few of My Favorites)

Rug cleaners and rug lovers often ask me: “What rug books should I buy?”

I’ve been providing similar email responses recently, so I thought I would share these recommendations here.

Numerous books are available on rugs. Some books are general and cover all regions. Some are general, covering all regions.

These are my four favorite general rug books for those who want to start their rug collection.

Peter Stone, “Oriental Rugs,” by Peter Stone

“Oriental Rugs : An Illustrated Lexicon Of Materials, Motifs, and Origins.” This is the latest of the four books (released in 2014.), and it has become my number one recommendation for anyone who asks for a book to educate themselves or to give as a present to another textile enthusiast.

The ease of use is what I like most about the book. This book is an encyclopedia on rugs. It includes rug terms, constructions, history, and everything else drug-related.

The book is easy to use for those just starting, and it will also satisfy the curiosity of more experienced professionals. It is great to flip it open to read random sections and learn new things or to use it to explain a rug type or term to a customer.

It is also visually stunning. Instead of sharing “rare” carpets that you may never see, I found a collection of rugs we see at our rug cleaning business. Therefore, The content is relevant for those who are rug shopping and those who are cleaning today.

This book also has a large bibliography, which includes many rug books, both classic and contemporary. They are organized by country/weave/topic to allow anyone enamored of a rug they have seen to delve further into that topic.

I bought multiple hardcover books (for myself and as gifts) and was delighted to find that this is one of the first Kindle rug publications I have seen. Now that I’m an iPad user, I can access this wonderful content anywhere.

When great rug books are limited edition, they are expensive to purchase when unavailable. Get your copy while it’s still cheap. You can put this on your gift list for rug lovers.

P.R.J. “Oriental Carpet Design.” Ford

“Oriental Carpet Design” This book focuses on rug design. This book is beautifully produced and provides information on the history and use of specific motifs in various weaving regions.

People often choose rugs based on the designs they recognize or like. This book presents the most popular field designs, border patterns, motifs, and styles. This book gives you a visual lesson on the differences between tribal weaving and city weaving.

The examples of rugs and the historical descriptions are both excellent. It is easier to understand where certain symbols originated and what they were meant to represent. It is also a beautiful book that is perfect to give as a present. You can flip through it and read random sections.

The details of the Turkoman gul patterns are particularly interesting. I have often referred to those pages when trying to determine which clan woven a specific carpet. The writing style in this book is similar to that of the Stone book. It’s easy to read and not too academic. The Stone book is a great rug glossary if you are unsure about a rug term.

Janice Summers, “Oriental Rugs,”

“Oriental Rugs: The Illustrated World Buyers’ Guide”: I first encountered this book during a rug-identification course. The book is easy to read and provides a general overview of each region’s different rug types and weaving countries.

The format in which she presents the rug identification is what I find most appealing about the book. Summers is the only rug author I’ve seen who has presented a front/back view and identified characteristics of rug types in a very user-friendly way.

You can learn what specialists look for by reading about a rug. For example, the knot type, weaving materials, weft counts, side finish, finish at the end, etc.

It is an essential book for anyone wanting to learn how to identify the country where a rug was woven. This book is also a great tool for determining whether a rug comes from a certain village.

This book is not as detailed in its weaving region histories as the Ford book. However, it’s a good general book that you can add to your library and will refer to often.

Marla Mallett, “Woven structures”

“Woven Structures”: A Guide to Oriental Rugs and Textile Analysis While the previous three books are great to color photo-rich publications that can be used for daily use or as gifts, this fourth book is for anyone who wants to truly understand the structure of woven rugs.

This book is an introduction to the construction of rugs. She focuses on flatweaves and tribal weavings. However, she also discusses pile rugs.

Mallett’s book is full of illustrations and drawings which “show” readers how to see a rug through the eyes of a weaver. You gain insight into the nomadic life, the fiber preparation and cultivation, and the intricate details of creating a textile.

This book changed the way I looked at rugs and tribal rugs. The book’s analysis helped me to appreciate the craftsmanship.

Mallett has a wonderful website a href= “”>(> with dozens of photos, articles, recommended resources, and rug education. She also has a wonderful website ( with many photos, articles, recommended resources, and rug education.

Many websites deal with rugs but are a mess of outdated information, broken links, and general chaos. Mallett has one of our field’s best-organized, up-to-date, and easily navigable sites. Her website is always a source of new information. Although the illustrations and photographs in her book are mostly black and white, there is an incredible amount of color on this website.

This book is perfect for a friend or family member who is a weaver. It is also a great gift for anyone interested in rugs. This book is a great resource for anyone who has ever had trouble understanding the differences between different selvages or rug knots. Her illustrations show how rugs are made.

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