Turkmen Rugs and Carpets come from Turkestan, an area stretching East of the Caspian Sea to the Pamir Mountains and even as far as the Tien Shan Mountains of Sinkiang, the westernmost province of China. The Aral Sea forms the northernmost border of this region which encompasses primarily Turkmenistan and includes also portions of Uzbekistan and Tadjikistan.
Turkmen, or Turcoman, are Turkic speaking Muslim who, up until the early 20th century, had a complex tribal structure, being divided into tribes, subtribes and clans, which changed over the years by alliance for political, economic and spiritual reasons.
Turkmen carpets have in the past been called Afghan and Bukhara. Include also the names Besire, Tekke, Chodor, Saryk, Ersari, Yomut, Arabatchi and Salor and you begin to sense the complex intermingling of ethnicity and geography, language and politics from which the carpet weavers come.
Turkmen carpets and rugs are geometric in design and were originally woven or knotted as tent furnishings both practical and decorative. Their deep red ground comes from Madder, a vegetal dye which can vary from deep solid red to almost purple or warm brown depending on the mordant used. One of the design motifs held in common is the gul, a roundel, cloud collar or flower.