How to identify aubusson rugs

how to identify aubusson rugs

How to identify aubusson rugs

Aubusson rugs are exquisite hand-knotted woolen rugs with intricate designs and patterns that originated in France in the 16th century. Known for their meticulous craftsmanship and top-quality materials, Aubusson rugs come in various designs, including floral and architectural motifs. To ensure you’re getting an authentic Aubusson rug, look for features such as hand-carved designs, vibrant colors, and a traditional Aubusson dimensional appearance.

Aubusson rugs are highly sought after, making it essential to be able to identify them correctly. This guide will provide you with the knowledge and skills needed to distinguish between genuine Aubusson rugs and imitations.

Key Takeaways:

  • Authentic Aubusson rugs are hand-knotted, made from high-quality wool, and feature intricate designs.
  • Look for hand-carved designs, vibrant colors, and a traditional Aubusson dimensional appearance when identifying an Aubusson rug.
  • Aubusson rugs originated in France in the 16th century and have a rich history and tradition.
  • Proper care and maintenance, such as avoiding chemical-based products and regular vacuuming, are crucial for preserving Aubusson rugs’ beauty.
  • Aubusson rugs hold significant value as both decorative pieces and investment assets.

The History of Aubusson Rugs

Aubusson rugs have a fascinating history that can be traced back to the Renaissance era in Europe. These exquisite rugs played a significant role in the French carpet design industry during the reign of Louis XIV. The origins of Aubusson rug production can be traced back to the 1300s when the first looms for tapestries and rugs were established in Aubusson, a village in France renowned for its craftsmanship.

Initially, the designs of Aubusson rugs were heavily influenced by Turkish and Oriental rugs. However, over time, they evolved to incorporate unique French elements, particularly floral and architectural motifs inspired by the lavish Savonnerie rugs. This fusion of design styles resulted in the distinctive and intricate patterns that are characteristic of Aubusson rugs.

The production of rugs in the Aubusson region ceased in 1870 with the decline of the carpet industry. However, the tradition of Aubusson rug weaving continued, thanks to the dedication and passion of skilled artisans. Today, Aubusson rugs are not only cherished for their historical significance but also admired for their exquisite beauty, making them highly sought-after collectors’ items.

history of aubusson rugs


“Aubusson rugs are the epitome of artistry and craftsmanship, combining centuries-old techniques with intricate designs.” – Rug Collector Magazine

“The history of Aubusson rugs reflects the rich tapestry of European art and design, blending influences from across the continent to create a unique and timeless aesthetic.” – Marie Antoinette, Interior Designer

Characteristics of Aubusson Rugs

Aubusson rugs are renowned for their unique characteristics that distinguish them from other hand-woven tapestries. These exquisite rugs exhibit a tapestry-like appearance with intricate patterns that showcase their exceptional craftsmanship. When examining an Aubusson rug, several features can help you recognize their genuine quality and timeless beauty.

Elegant Designs and Color Palettes

Aubusson rugs often feature light-colored or white backgrounds, creating a visually pleasing contrast with the vibrantly colored patterns. The designs are meticulously crafted, showcasing intricate floral motifs, architectural elements, and classical French-inspired patterns. The attention to detail and artistic finesse make Aubusson rugs a true masterpiece of interior decor.

Large Size and Durability

One of the distinctive characteristics of Aubusson rugs is their larger size compared to other hand-woven tapestries. This generous dimension allows these rugs to make a bold statement in any space and create a captivating focal point. Additionally, Aubusson rugs are hand-woven using a flatweave technique, which enhances their durability and longevity, making them a worthwhile investment.

Authenticity through Wear and Tear

An authentic Aubusson rug may exhibit signs of wear and tear, which adds to its charm and authenticity. Look for details such as occasional loose threads or uneven edges that indicate the rug has been handmade using traditional techniques. These imperfections tell the story of the rug’s history and the skillful craftsmanship that went into its creation.

To help you visualize the distinguishing characteristics of Aubusson rugs, here is a table summarizing their key features:

Characteristics Description
Elegant Designs and Color Palettes Light-colored or white backgrounds with intricate and vibrant patterns.
Large Size and Durability Larger than other hand-woven tapestries, hand-woven with a flatweave technique for enhanced durability.
Authenticity through Wear and Tear Occasional signs of wear and tear like loose threads or uneven edges that highlight handmade craftsmanship.

By recognizing these distinct characteristics, you can confidently identify a genuine Aubusson rug and appreciate its timeless beauty and historical significance.

aubusson rug characteristics

How to Identify an Authentic Aubusson Rug

To identify an authentic Aubusson rug, it is important to consider the overall design and craftsmanship. Here are some tips for spotting genuine Aubusson rugs:

  • Look for dense floral or scrollwork patterns: Aubusson rugs are known for their intricate designs, often featuring dense floral motifs or scrollwork patterns.
  • Check for hand-carved designs: Authentic Aubusson rugs are meticulously crafted with hand-carved designs that add depth and texture to the rug.
  • Examine labels or tags: Some Aubusson rugs may have labels or tags indicating their authenticity. Look for these markings to confirm the rug’s origins.
  • Inspect the materials used: Authentic Aubusson rugs are typically made of high-quality wool, known for its durability and softness. Avoid rugs made with synthetic materials.
  • Consider the production technique: Aubusson rugs are traditionally hand-woven using flatweave techniques. Look for evidence of handcrafted details and intricate weaving.

By paying attention to these details, you can increase your chances of identifying and acquiring an authentic Aubusson rug.

In the words of a rug expert:

“Authentic Aubusson rugs are a testament to the skill and artistry of the weavers. The intricate designs and hand-carved details set them apart from other rugs. Look for vibrant colors, meticulous craftsmanship, and traditional weaving techniques to ensure you’re getting a genuine piece of art.”

Key Features of Authentic Aubusson Rugs

Feature Description
Dense Floral or Scrollwork Patterns Aubusson rugs often feature intricate floral or scrollwork patterns that are densely woven.
Hand-Carved Designs Authentic Aubusson rugs showcase intricate hand-carved designs, adding depth and texture.
Labels or Tags Some Aubusson rugs may bear labels or tags indicating their authenticity and origins.
High-Quality Wool Authentic Aubusson rugs are typically made of high-quality wool, known for its durability and luxurious feel.
Traditional Hand-Weaving Aubusson rugs are traditionally hand-woven using flatweave techniques, showcasing meticulous craftsmanship.

Identifying Authentic Aubusson Rugs

Aubusson Rug Styles and Designs

Aubusson rugs are renowned for their exquisite styles and designs, showcasing the artistry and craftsmanship of this traditional French weaving technique. These rugs offer a wide range of options, from elegant floral motifs to bold geometric patterns, allowing homeowners to find the perfect rug to complement their interior design.

Floral Designs

One of the most popular styles of Aubusson rugs is floral designs. These rugs feature intricate patterns of flowers, leaves, and posies, creating a delicate and romantic ambiance in any space. The floral designs often incorporate vibrant and contrasting colors, bringing life and elegance to the room.

Geometric Designs

For those who prefer a more contemporary style, Aubusson rugs with geometric designs are an ideal choice. These rugs showcase bold medallions, intricate geometric patterns, and symmetrical motifs, adding a modern touch to any room. The combination of geometric shapes and the softness of the woolen fibers creates a visually striking and harmonious design.

“Aubusson rugs with geometric designs are perfect for adding a touch of modernity to any space while still maintaining the rich history and craftsmanship of this traditional weaving technique.”

French-Inspired Designs

Aubusson rugs often feature French-inspired designs, reflecting the historical influence of French art and culture. These designs incorporate classic French elements, such as fleur-de-lis motifs, architectural details, and ornate borders. The use of elegant and different color shades adds a touch of sophistication and refinement to the rug.

The versatility of Aubusson rugs is not limited to their designs alone. These rugs come in various shapes, including round, oval, and runner forms, allowing homeowners to find the perfect size and shape for different areas in their home. Whether it’s a cozy corner, a grand hallway, or a large living room, there is an Aubusson rug that will fit seamlessly into any space.

The designs of Aubusson rugs are a testament to the rich history, artistry, and tradition associated with these exquisite pieces of decor. Whether you prefer the timeless beauty of floral designs or the contemporary allure of geometric patterns, an Aubusson rug is sure to elevate the aesthetic appeal of any room while adding a touch of elegance and sophistication.

Care and Maintenance of Aubusson Rugs

Proper care and maintenance are essential for preserving the beauty and longevity of Aubusson rugs. By following a few simple steps, you can ensure that your rug retains its vibrant colors and intricate patterns for years to come.

Vacuum Regularly

Regular vacuuming is the key to keeping your Aubusson rug clean and free from dirt and grit. Use a vacuum cleaner with a brush attachment or a handheld vacuum to gently remove any surface debris. Take care not to use excessive force or pass over the rug too vigorously, as this can cause damage to the delicate fibers.

Avoid Sun Exposure

Aubusson rugs are susceptible to fading when exposed to direct sunlight. To protect your rug from discoloration and maintain its vibrant colors, avoid placing it in areas where it will be exposed to prolonged sunlight. Consider using curtains or blinds to filter out harmful UV rays.

Treat Spills Immediately

Accidents happen, but when it comes to spills on your Aubusson rug, time is of the essence. Act quickly to prevent the spill from setting into the fibers. Use a clean, thick cotton cloth or paper towel to blot the area gently. Avoid rubbing or scrubbing, as this can spread the stain and damage the rug.

Avoid Chemical-Based Products

When it comes to cleaning your Aubusson rug, it’s best to stick to gentle, natural methods. Avoid using chemical-based cleaning products, as they can strip the rug of its natural oils and damage the dyes and colors. Instead, opt for mild detergents specifically formulated for delicate fabrics or consult a professional rug cleaner for guidance.

Air Dry Properly

If your Aubusson rug becomes wet or damp, it’s crucial to allow it to air dry thoroughly. Avoid using heat sources or quick-drying methods, as they can cause shrinkage, discoloration, and fiber damage. Instead, lift the rug with a stand or hang it in a well-ventilated area until completely dry.

“Proper care and maintenance are essential for preserving the beauty and longevity of Aubusson rugs.”

By incorporating these care and maintenance practices into your routine, you can enjoy your Aubusson rug’s timeless beauty for generations to come.

Value and Significance of Aubusson Rugs

Aubusson rugs are more than just decorative floor coverings – they hold significant value and historical significance in the world of interior design. These exquisite pieces are sought after as both investment assets and works of art. Antique Aubusson rugs, in particular, are highly prized and can be valued as high as traditional Persian hand-knotted rugs.

The value of Aubusson rugs stems from their intricate hand-carved designs and the time-consuming nature of their production. Skilled craftsmen meticulously weave each rug using traditional techniques, resulting in a masterpiece that transcends generations. The detailed patterns and vibrant colors evoke a sense of elegance and sophistication, adding a touch of charm to any space.

Authentic Aubusson rugs hold historical significance, reflecting the rich cultural heritage of France. Originating in the small villages of Aubusson and Felletin in the 16th century, these rugs became synonymous with luxury and grace during the reign of Louis XIV. They have been cherished by nobility and revered for their craftsmanship ever since.

Whether showcased in a grand hall or a cozy living room, Aubusson rugs bring a sense of timelessness and artistry to any interior design concept. Their presence elevates the aesthetic appeal of a room, creating a focal point that truly captures the essence of classic beauty.

Investing in an Aubusson rug is not just about acquiring a valuable piece. It is an opportunity to own a part of history and contribute to the preservation of a traditional craft. These rugs are a testament to the enduring artistry and cultural heritage of France.

When considering the value and significance of Aubusson rugs, it is crucial to appreciate their unique characteristics and the meticulous craftsmanship that goes into their creation. Owning an authentic Aubusson rug is a privilege that connects you to a rich tapestry of history, tradition, and unparalleled beauty.

Take a moment to explore the visual splendor of an Aubusson rug in the image below:

Comparison of Aubusson Rugs and Traditional Persian Rugs

Aubusson Rugs Traditional Persian Rugs
Originated in France Originated in Persia (modern-day Iran)
Known for intricate hand-carved designs Known for detailed hand-knotting techniques
Flatweave construction Knotted construction
Light-colored backgrounds with bright patterns Varied color palettes
Sought after as both decorative and investment pieces Highly valued for their craftsmanship and complexity


Identifying an Aubusson rug requires a keen eye and an understanding of its unique characteristics, history, and craftsmanship. By examining the overall design, checking for signs of wear and tear, and considering the production technique, you can distinguish an authentic Aubusson rug from imitations.

Care and maintenance are vital for preserving the beauty of Aubusson rugs. Regular vacuuming and gentle spot cleaning are recommended to keep the rug in pristine condition. Avoid using chemical-based products that could damage the delicate dyes and colors.

Aubusson rugs hold significant value as both decorative and investment pieces. With their intricate hand-carved designs, rich history, and meticulous craftsmanship, they are considered works of art. Genuine Aubusson weaves can elevate the style and elegance of any interior, making them a cherished addition.


How can I identify an Aubusson rug?

To identify an Aubusson rug, look for features such as hand-carved designs, a traditional Aubusson dimensional appearance, and vibrant and deep colors.

What are the characteristics of Aubusson rugs?

Aubusson rugs are characterized by their tapestry-like appearance, intricate patterns, and use of high-quality materials. They often feature light-colored or white backgrounds with brightly colored patterns.

How can I identify an authentic Aubusson rug?

To identify an authentic Aubusson rug, consider the overall design, look for signs of hand-carved designs and intricate workmanship, check for labels or tags, and examine the materials used and the production technique.

What styles and designs are available in Aubusson rugs?

Aubusson rugs come in various styles and designs, including floral designs, geometric shapes, and French-inspired patterns. They can also be found in round, oval, or runner forms.

How should I care for and maintain my Aubusson rug?

Regular vacuuming, avoiding direct sunlight exposure, and using gentle cleaning methods are essential for preserving the beauty and longevity of Aubusson rugs.

What is the value and significance of Aubusson rugs?

Aubusson rugs hold significant value as both decorative and investment pieces. Antique Aubusson rugs are highly prized for their intricate designs and historical significance.

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