Rug Origins: Belgium Rugs and Tapestry Art

Dinant, Belgium (Photo by Alex Vasey on Unsplash)
This lovely Belgian Tapestry Rug is available in our Dallas Design Center showroom. Use 50058 as reference number if you want to know more.

To the uninitiated, Belgium may not be the first name or place that comes to mind when looking for fine rugs or luxury carpets. But for rug collectors and experts, Belgian rugs rank among the finest because of its highly detailed and lifelike patterns. And the long, illustrious history of these magnificent works of art play a central role in its rising popularity in interior design today.

The Renaissance

Unlike its Persian counterparts that are commonly used as a floor covering, most rugs produced in Europe became tapestries that adorned walls and used as furniture covers. They were also used for insulation during cold seasons but for the most part, they were considered more as display pieces. Belgium rugs started to proliferate at the start of the Renaissance era in the 1400s as demand for large and lavish wall decor began to rise. Weavers initially used flax that was turned into linen but later imported English wool that improved the durability of the carpets.

Like most European rugs, Belgian tapestry carpets are easily identifiable because of the themes rug makers used. They were often inspired by religious objects, hunting and harvest activities, mythology, and historical figures. Essentially, rugs that originated in Belgium are woven versions of paintings and illustrations depicting everyday life which make them better suited as wall art rather than floor decor.

Belgium rugs are so finely woven most people think they are printed.

Today, Belgium rugs are steadily gaining prominence among designers and homeowners all over the world. They offer the versatility and durability of handwoven rugs with the same level of artistry often seen in the works of great Renaissance painters like Raphael and Bernaert van Orley.

Author: Carlo Vincent Mollenido

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