Tibetan Contemporary Shag Rug
What makes Tibetan contemporary shag rug incredible is their color, their knotting, their unusual motifs and high mountain Himalayan wool.
Similar to the Chinese carpets and rugs, Tibetan rug making is an ancient art form that seemed to not have needed mentioning in ancient texts. However, unlike the Chinese, there is extensive evidence that traditional Tibetan contemporary shag rug have been made for thousands of years from changpel, the Tibetan high mountain sheep’s wool. What also differentiates these rugs is the way in which they are made with a uniquely Tibetan hand tied knot that is not the same as the knotting used in Persian or other Oriental or Asian area rugs.
Although there are machines who now do much of the work, rug making is one of Tibet’s main industries that continues to this day. The looms and weaving and rug workshops were most notable in Gyantse, and the monasteries throughout Tibet were weel known for making and using rugs. It is sad that many of the Lhasa rug factories are now exclusively dedicated to tourists and Chinese dignitaries or to be sent to China. There are however some uniquely Tibetan contemporary shag rug such as the sitting rugs known as khaden.
Real tiger skins and tiger motif (the ultimate animal print wool shag area rugs) are also part of traditional Tibetan contemporary shag rug. These come from Tibetan Buddhist gods who are often shown with tiger skin clothing and therefore the rugs took this form and served to protect those who were deep in meditation.
Tibetan Wangden rugs from south of Shigatse, may have a large fringe and some are runners that were once used on long benches where the monks sat.
Today it is difficult to buy TRUE Tibetan handmade wool rug that are lanolin oily and of high quality because there are primarily Chinese government run factories in Lhasa that make classic designs for the tourists in cheap area rugs that imitate the real thing. There are also a few foreign run factories that are trying to re-established ancient methods and traditional vegetable dyes and use hand techniques for authentic natural rugs, but just can’t make a large scale profitable enterprise from it yet and are far from being known internationally.
If you are searching for true hand made, genuine natural area rugs from real Tibetan weavers, then take the time to find a real one instead of supporting Chinese factory Tibetan knockoffs.
There are wool area rugs online that support these small Tibetan entrepreneurs (sometimes in conjunction with Nepalese dealers) and offer to send you their creations anywhere in the world you may be.
The ultimate contemporary area rugs you can buy are those that support a weaver’s life today and allow them to expand their techniques and designs for tomorrow.
Consider having your next rugs runner be a long one made in a monetary in the style of those that covered their benches, or decorate your home or office with area carpets and rugs that sustain a people who struggle to maintain their heritage and their arts even while they may be in exile in Nepal.
You may find something at a place called Shoppypal.com, or perhaps you can try tamarian or tibetrugcompany or toranahouse, or artelino amongst others who support the Tibetan wool area rug trade and have some magnificent traditional and contemporary rugs in many shapes and colors touched by the fingers of the talented Tibetan people.