Home   area rug cleaning   What Do The Colors Mean In My Persian Rug?

What Do The Colors Mean In My Persian Rug?


Persian rugs are frequently absorbed into the generic description “oriental,” a class of fine, patterned rugs woven throughout Asia and the Middle East. Strictly defined, Persian rugs come from Iran, although historic Persian Rugs originated in that entire region, not just within present-day geographic boundaries. The rugs are characterized by dense weaves, unique knots and opulent colors.

The oldest known rug in existence is from the 5th century BCE. The 2,500-year-old Pazyryk rug, was found frozen in an icy tomb in Siberia, and still retains its deep red dye. The art of rug weaving is ancient and so too are the color dyeing techniques, symbols, styles, and motifs. The meaning attributed to these are a way to share stories and pass them down from generation to generation.


Colors for the dyes are obtained from nature.

Colors used in rugs also convey meaning. The wool is dyed by masters before being passed to the expert artisan weavers. Before the advent of synthetic dyes plants, minerals were used to create the variety of beautiful colors for the wool. Madder root produces a rich dye in the red family and was a sought-after, traditional source of colorant for spun wool. The nomads who developed complex Persian weaving techniques used a variety of indigenous and imported plants, insects and sea creatures to obtain prized colors for their carpets. Snails, beetles, flowers and weeds — from ground cochineal to dried pomegranate.

man dyeing wool

The wool is dyed by a master with decades of experience.

Wool HangingRug Weaving Pic

The wool is then passed to a master weaver to create a fine rug.

Here we share the traditional meanings commonly attributed to the standard colors used in Persian (Oriental) area rugs. Characteristics, ideals and emotions evoked by color change with the times. In carpet lore, common themes emerge from the mists of history and still inform color choices for designs today.

Red Rug

Red invoked happiness, joy, luck, courage, wealth and a vibrant life force.

green rug

Green – paradise, sacred, renewal, spring


Brown was the color of fertility, a reminder of earth and soil.


Yellow suggested the sun and came to be associated with, and often reserved for, royalty and rulers.


White means purity and peace or mourning and grief.

White projects purity, cleanliness, and neutrality. Doctors don white coats, brides traditionally wear white gowns, and a white picket fence surrounds a safe and happy home.


Black was forceful, could edge into destructive, and was typically used for outlines and borders, to define a precise design.

Black is authoritative and powerful; because black can evoke strong emotions, too much can be overwhelming. Black represents a lack of color, the primordial void, emptiness. It is a classic color for clothing, possibly because it makes the wearer appear thinner and more sophisticated.


Blue: Trustworthy, dependable, and committed

Blues: Dyers Woad Blue is produced from the plant of the same name, which grows and western Anatolia and yields indigo, which is the oldest and most important blue dye! Indigo, a deeper blue, symbolizes a mystical borderland of wisdom, self-mastery, and spiritual realization. While blue is the color of communication with others, indigo turns the blue inward to increase personal thought, profound insights, and instant understandings.


Orange – devotion, piety, humility

The history of rugs is rich with cultural and social significance. Hand knotted area rugs carry with them a richness or creativity, artistry and meaning equal to all other works of art. With today’s technology advances and production methods, you now have quality options with hand-tufted wool and machine made rugs too, like the ones featured in this post.

Oriental Rug Salon is a Certified Partner with the prestigious Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) and the international Carpet & Rug Institute.  In addition, we are A+ rated by the Better Business Bureau and Angie’s List and our rug cleaning technicians are certified by the world’s most respected certification body for textile professionals.

If we can ever be of service to you please do not hesitate to give us a call at anytime at 239-541-4888 or visit us on the web at www.OrientalRugSalon.com

Oriental Rug Salon offers Oriental, wool, silk and synthetic area rug cleaning, fringe repair, pet urine and odor removal and all major and minor area rug repairs.


Oriental Rug Salon offers Oriental, wool and silk area rug cleaning throughout the cities of Cape Coral, Naples, Fort Myers, Bonita Springs, Estero, Sanibel, Punta Gorda, Lehigh Acres, Port Charlotte, Marco Island, North Fort Myers and Fort Myers Beach FL.