What Is an Aubusson Rug?

Antique Aubusson rugs are among the finest handmade rugs ever produced in Europe.

Origins

Once only gracing the homes of the rich, reproductions are now widely available and affordable.

Aubusson rugs were first produced in France in the middle of the 17th century. They were invented in response to the popularity of Savonnerie carpets, which were created by royal designers and weavers and were reserved for the French king. Fine rug weavers emulating the Savonnerie designs and techniques then produced the Aubusson rugs that became extremely popular among the wealthy in Europe.

Where They Were Made

True Aubusson rugs were woven in France for about 200 years ending around 1870. They are named for a town in France on the River Creuse that was once at the center of European rug making, where they were produced.

Materials Used

Traditional Aubusson rugs were made of wool. Today they are made of synthetics as well.

Technique

Aubusson rugs are woven on large looms by interlacing using a thick thread weave. This produces a flat rug with no pile.

Design

The designs of Aubusson rugs are simplifications of Savonnerie rugs, which took their influence from Turkish rugs. Traditional Aubusson rugs are pastel colored with a central floral medallion surrounded by natural or geometric motifs.

Contemporary Aubusson Rugs

Today Aubusson designs are reproduced in India, Pakistan, China and Iran and can be handmade or machine made from wool or synthetics.

About the Author

Susan's broad interests have yielded a rich and varied career in human resources, small business, nonprofit and education. Now retired from a Fortune 500 company, she consults and writes on related topics. Susan has a B.A. in Anthropology from The George Washington University, and holds Professional Human Resources and New Jersey Teacher of the Handicapped certifications.