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1/28/14Interpreting the motifs on Turkish rugs

(Furbish /Lulu and Georgia /eBay /eBay)

While visiting Istanbul a couple a years ago, I made ‘friends’ with one of the guys with a shop at The Grand Bazaar. I was asking him so many questions about the rugs and blankets, the colors and motifs that he gave me a print out of some of the symbols used in traditional Turkish rugs. I came across the sheet while cleaning out my inspiration folder over the weekend and thought that it would be fun to share with you here.


Here I see:  Hand / Eye/ Grain
Here I see: Eye / Ram Horn / Eye

Here I see: Ram’s Horn / Ram’s Horn / Grain

Before studying this sheet, I had never given too much thought to what the various motifs on the rugs actually mean, but looking at the rugs now and being able to ‘read’ them adds a new dimension to the beauty of them, don’t you think?


Justina Blakeney Justina Blakeney

Designer, artist, stylist & mama. Founder and CCO at The Jungalow. Crazy for color, pattern and plants!

22 responses to “Interpreting the motifs on Turkish rugs”

  1. leela says:

    love this justina! having spent time in istanbul too, i’m fascinated by rug designs and their significance.

  2. That really does make me look at the rugs in a different way. So interesting! I wonder if the same thing would apply to other middle eastern rugs and patterns. x

  3. carlene says:

    This is so great! Thank you!

  4. I really like this. I never understood the meanings of the motifs either. It really does make the rugs more meaningful, knowing that they carry messages within them.

  5. Andi says:

    I want them all, so gorgeous!

  6. Wow! When you take the time to understand the meaning of all the symbols, the rugs reveal such an interesting facet of the culture. Instead of looking at a painting, I felt instead as if I was reading a book:) Thanks for sharing!

  7. Igor says:

    Very cool background info on Turkish rugs! Much appreciated my friend!

  8. Thanks so much for this post! It’s so cool to get to know the history behind it, and be able to actually read what the rug is about. Incredible. xo

  9. Cristina says:

    Im ocurrenlying living In Istanbul and I am totally in love with Kilims.

    I thank you so much for this posts, it’s amazing now I can buy amazing carpets and know their energy (their meaning).

    Can you recommend me any shop in the grand bazaar?

    • Ali zarezadeh says:

      I have information about carpet also about amazing iran carpet, i can share my information and help you for buy carpet.

  10. Therugseller says:

    Yous have amazing collection of designs.Definitely i will buy this designer rugs for my house

  11. wishful nals says:

    I love this! I’m headed to Turkey in just a few weeks! :)

  12. Çağla says:

    Hi Justina :) I have my grandma’s Antalya rug with the devil eye . But i didn’t know that. Thanks for the post!

  13. […] carpet tells the story of what the weaver hopes for the future: romance, children and prosperity. This guide is a great tool for decoding the symbols in a carpet. Or do what we did and videotape your seller […]

  14. Max says:

    These are kurdish symbols and motifs in carpets not turkish..
    please correct this!
    Turks may adopt kurdish armenian and hellenic culture and present these as turkish..please dont support it!

    Respect and regards


  15. charis boissevain says:

    Dear Justina,

    thank you so much for this wonderful post. I was in Istanbul recently and purchased some stunning rugs. You have helped me understand some of the designs on them. Much appreciated. I just love your fabulous website!!

  16. christa says:

    I just got a rug that is an absolute mystery. It has this strange bird like symbol but it’s not really a bird. It also has characters written on one end but I cannot for the life of me find a site that will help decipher them. Do you know of a good site that has extensive info on this?

  17. […] Turkish Rugs Patterns interpreting the motifs on turkish rugs the jungalowthe jungalow 620 X 620 Size: 620 X 620 | Source: http://www.thejungalow.com […]

  18. […] interpreting the motifs on turkish rugs the jungalowthe jungalow Turkish Rug Symbols Size: 620 X 754 | Source: http://www.thejungalow.com […]

  19. […] interpreting the motifs on turkish rugs the jungalowthe jungalow Turkish Carpet Patterns Size: 620 X 620 | Source: http://www.thejungalow.com […]

  20. Bill says:

    That max guy that claims turkish patterns as Kurdish is a big liar he doesn’t seem to have had studied anything in history
    Where did he go to school at
    Which mountain was that

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