Authentic Oushak Collection

Oushak (Usak), Turkey stands alone as the most important weaving center in the history of floor art and was noted as far back as 1271 in The Travels of Marco Polo.  Experts estimate the first weavers migrated there in the 11th century giving it the distinction of having the longest known continuous production of any city.  However, creation of rugs in the area nearly disappeared during the early part of the twentieth century and remained extremely limited until 1978 when the first rug of our "Authentic Oushak Collection" arrived off the loom.

Eventually over half a million square feet was produced and those remaining today represent some of the only real Oushak rugs still available. These pieces feature a robust, high quality, long staple wool pile with patterns, colors and textures derived from 17th century museum pieces. Unlike many imitations named Oushak, the design elements and historical accuracy as well as the origin of these rugs makes them the direct descendants of a most important Turkish textile art. There has been a significant amount written on the prominence among early carpets including the following from Oriental Rugs, Volume 4 - Turkish by K.Zipper & C.Fritzsche:

"Ushak (Usak). Small town east of Kula and Demirci. Since the fifteenth century the most famous and important rug producing centre of Turkey. Particularly well-known are those types of carpets designated by their designs - 'Large Medallion Ushak', 'Small Medallion' or 'Double-niche Ushak', 'Star Ushak' and several variants, 'Arabesque' or 'Lotto' rugs and so on. Recent research has indicated that the earliest Ushak rugs were probably made in the second half of the fifteenth century as Imperial commissions, but that production on a large scale was geared mainly to export by the beginning of the sixteenth century. Ushak rugs appear frequently in sixteenth and seventeenth century European paintings; there is a group of portraits of King Henry VIII of England and members of his family standing on several different well-known types. Some carpets can be extremely large, between seven and nine metres in length. It is assumed that the famous / /Transylvanian 'double niche' rugs and prayer rugs with cartouche borders, were also woven in the Ushak region. The assumption is based on the close structural similarities and also to the presence of large numbers of rugs in well known Ushak designs in the same location.

The town is also famous for a group of seventeenth century safs which were found in the mosque at Edirne early this century, and fragments of which are now to be found in various private and public collections throughout the world, the best group being in the Turk ve Islam Museum, Istanbul. In the late eighteenth century Ushak once again became an important center of production for commercial carpets intended primarily for export to the West. It has continued in this role well into the twentieth century. Large quantities were exported through Smyrna (Izmir) and were known as 'Smyrna' or 'Turkey' carpets in Europe; in the United States they were more accurately called Ushaks."

More recently many rugs that are not Oushaks have been chemically bleached and are being called Oushaks by disreputable or ignorant dealers. These are not from the city or provence of Ousak (Usak) and we see this as false and misleading advertising.