What Is The Origin Of Aubusson Rugs?

When it comes to enhancing the beauty and elegance of your home, the right rug can make all the difference. Aubusson rugs have long been sought after for their exquisite craftsmanship and timeless appeal. In …

What Is The Origin Of Aubusson Rugs?

When it comes to enhancing the beauty and elegance of your home, the right rug can make all the difference. Aubusson rugs have long been sought after for their exquisite craftsmanship and timeless appeal.

In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the fascinating world of Aubusson rugs, their origin, history, meaning, materials, and more. By the end of this article, you’ll have a deep understanding of why Aubusson rugs continue to be a beloved choice for interior decor enthusiasts worldwide.

Where Do Aubusson Rugs Come From?

Aubusson rugs take their name from the charming town of Aubusson, nestled in the heart of France. Located in the historical region of Limousin, Aubusson has been renowned for its exceptional tapestries and rugs for centuries.

What Period Are Aubusson Rugs From?

The art of rug weaving in Aubusson and Felletin dates back to the 16th century when the town became a hub for textile production.

Fun Fact: Aubusson rugs have graced the floors of royal courts and noble residences throughout Europe, earning a reputation for luxury and sophistication.

Aubusson rugs hail from a rich historical period known as the Rococo era. This period, which flourished during the 18th century, was characterized by ornate designs, pastel colors, and a fascination with nature and asymmetry. Aubusson rugs of this time were no exception, featuring delicate floral patterns and intricate borders that perfectly captured the Rococo spirit.

What Is the Meaning of Aubusson Rug?

The 18th century, in particular, marked the zenith of Aubusson rug production. They were highly sought after by French aristocracy and European royalty. The delicate and intricate designs of Aubusson rugs made them a symbol of prestige and refinement.

Aubusson pronunciation: Au·​bus·​son ˌō-bə-ˈsōⁿ  [French]

Beyond their aesthetic appeal, Aubusson rugs hold a deeper meaning. They are a testament to the skill and artistry of the weavers who painstakingly create them.

These rugs have always symbolized luxury, refinement, and a touch of opulence. When you bring an Aubusson rug or tapestry into your home, you’re not just adding decor; you’re embracing a piece of history and culture.

In the context of your home, an Aubusson rug can evoke a sense of timeless elegance. It signifies an appreciation for artistry and craftsmanship. Much like a masterpiece hanging on your wall, an Aubusson rug on your floor is a conversation starter, a piece of history, and a work of art all rolled into one.

What Are Aubusson Rugs Made Of?

Aubusson rugs are crafted with a blend of tradition and innovation.

Traditionally, they were made from natural materials like wool and silk, ensuring durability and a luxurious texture. The use of high-quality materials has been a hallmark of Aubusson rug production, and it continues to this day.

Pro Tip: Authentic Aubusson rugs are often made with hand-spun wool, which adds to their unique charm and texture.

The materials used in Aubusson rugs are a critical factor in their appeal. The quality of the wool or silk used significantly impacts the rug’s texture, sheen, and overall longevity. Traditional Aubusson rugs are known for their use of high-grade materials, ensuring they stand the test of time.

  • Wool, sourced from sheep, is a common material used in Aubusson rugs. It’s known for its resilience and softness.
  • Silk, on the other hand, adds a luxurious touch, creating a rug that’s not only visually stunning but also incredibly smooth to the touch.

How Do I Know if My Rug is Aubusson?

Identifying a genuine Aubusson rug can be a rewarding experience.

Here are some key features to look for:

  • Handwoven: Aubusson rugs are typically handwoven, which results in minor irregularities that give them character.
  • Intricate Designs: Look for intricate floral patterns, often featuring roses, vines, and other botanical motifs.
  • Soft Texture: Authentic Aubusson rugs are soft to the touch due to the use of high-quality materials.
  • Origin Label: Check for a label indicating the rug’s origin in Aubusson, France.

To determine the authenticity of an Aubusson rug, start by examining its construction. Authentic Aubusson rugs are traditionally handwoven, meaning that they may exhibit slight irregularities in their weave, which add to their character.

The intricate floral designs, often featuring roses, vines, and other botanical motifs, are a hallmark of Aubusson rugs. Their soft texture, a result of using high-quality materials, sets them apart from mass-produced rugs.

Aubusson-style rugs are commonly characterized by a flatwoven construction, often referred to as “flatweave” or “tapestry weave.” In contrast to pile rugs that have raised fibers, French Aubusson rugs are known for their smooth, flat surface, devoid of any pile.

If you’re unsure about the rug’s authenticity, look for an origin label. Many Aubusson rugs come with a label that proudly declares their origin in Aubusson, France. This label is a sign of quality and authenticity.

Types and Designs of Aubusson Rugs

Aubusson rugs come in a wide variety of designs, making it easy to find one that complements your home decor. Some popular design motifs include:

  • Floral Patterns: These timeless designs often feature bouquets of flowers, creating a sense of natural beauty.
  • Neoclassical Designs: Inspired by ancient Greece and Rome, these designs showcase columns, urns, vases, and other classical elements.
  • Animal Motifs: Aubusson rugs can also feature charming animal motifs, from exotic birds to playful dogs.

With each change in monarchy, Aubusson carpets evolved to mirror the prevailing styles and interests of the era. These carpets’ designs were typically entrusted to renowned artists, who often incorporated intricate depictions of elements like flowers and vases.

Additionally, for significant tapestries, royal courts frequently commissioned celebrated artists, such as Reuben Raffaele, to create works that portrayed biblical and historical scenes, captured specific events, or replicated designs from colored cartouches that were meticulously followed by the weavers. This rich history of artistic collaboration and adaptation has contributed to the enduring allure of Aubusson textiles.

The variety of designs available in Aubusson rugs ensures that there’s something for everyone. Whether you prefer the classic elegance of floral patterns or the classical grandeur of neoclassical designs, you can find an Aubusson rug that suits your taste.

Aubusson Rugs
Aubusson Rugs; Google Images caption

Why Choose Aubusson Rugs for Your Home

There are several compelling reasons to consider Aubusson rugs for your home:

  1. Timeless Elegance: Aubusson rugs add a touch of timeless elegance to any room, making them a perfect choice for those who appreciate classic decor.
  2. Quality Craftsmanship: Crafted by skilled artisans, these rugs are known for their exceptional quality and durability.
  3. Versatile Design: With a wide range of designs available, Aubusson rugs can seamlessly fit into various interior decor styles.
  4. Investment Value: Authentic Aubusson rugs can appreciate in value over time, making them both a beautiful addition to your home and a smart investment.
  5. Cultural Heritage: By choosing Aubusson rugs, you are supporting a centuries-old craft with a rich cultural heritage.

Incorporating Aubusson Rugs into Different Home Decor Styles

One of the remarkable qualities of Aubusson rugs is their versatility.

Whether your home decor style is traditional, modern, or eclectic, there’s a way to incorporate an Aubusson rug that complements your aesthetic.

Traditional Elegance

If your decor leans towards traditional elegance, consider placing an Aubusson rug in your living room. Its intricate designs and soft colors will create a cozy and sophisticated atmosphere. Pair it with classic furniture pieces, chandeliers, and antique accents for a truly opulent look.

In a traditional setting, the intricate floral patterns of Aubusson rugs shine. They complement classic furniture, ornate mirrors, and vintage decor elements. The soft, pastel hues of the rug add a sense of warmth and refinement to the room.

Modern Chic

In a modern setting, an Aubusson rug can serve as a captivating focal point. Opt for a rug with a more contemporary color palette to add a touch of old-world charm to your space. The contrast between the rug’s classic design and the sleek lines of modern furniture creates a visually striking effect.

Aubusson rugs can be the unexpected element that brings character and depth to a modern interior. Choose a rug with a more subdued color palette and pair it with minimalist furniture and clean lines to create a captivating contrast.

Eclectic Mix

For those with eclectic tastes, don’t hesitate to mix and match. An Aubusson rug can bridge the gap between contrasting styles, adding a layer of intrigue to your decor. Blend it with bohemian elements, vintage finds, and contemporary pieces for a unique and personalized space.

Aubusson rugs are versatile enough to adapt to eclectic decor styles. Their intricate patterns can harmonize with an array of colors and design elements, allowing you to create a space that reflects your unique personality and tastes.

Are Aubusson Rugs Still Made?

Yes, Aubusson rugs are still in production today. While traditional craftsmanship often remains intact, contemporary designs and color palettes have been introduced to cater to modern tastes. At the same time, according to some sources, the traditional art of weaving these tapestries ceased around the late 18th to the mid-19th century.

In the 20th century, French design trends shifted away from baroque styles, embracing instead a more contemporary approach influenced by abstract art movements like cubism, art nouveau, and Art Deco.

Contemporary Aubusson rugs are a testament to the enduring appeal of this art form. They combine the time-honored techniques of handweaving with fresh, innovative designs, making them suitable for both traditional and modern interiors. Rug artisans in Aubusson take pride in preserving their craft while adapting to the evolving preferences of today’s consumers.

Tips for Buying Authentic Aubusson Rugs

Investing in an authentic Aubusson rug requires some careful consideration.

Here are some tips to help you make an informed purchase:

  • Research: Familiarize yourself with the characteristics of genuine Aubusson rugs, including materials, designs, and labeling.
  • Buy from Reputable Sellers: Purchase from trusted dealers or auction houses known for their expertise in fine rugs.
  • Examine the Rug: If possible, physically examine the rug before buying. Check for quality, authenticity labels, and any signs of wear.
  • Authentication Certificates: Ensure that the rug comes with authentication certificates, providing proof of its origin.
  • Provenance: Inquire about the rug’s history and provenance. Knowing its previous owners and the context in which it was used can add to its allure.

By following these guidelines, you can increase your chances of acquiring an authentic Aubusson rug that not only enhances your decor but also carries the legacy of this esteemed craft.

Where to Find High-Quality Aubusson Rugs Today

If you’re eager to add the allure of Aubusson rugs to your home, there are several avenues to explore:

  1. Specialty Rug Stores: Look for established rug stores with a focus on fine, handwoven rugs. Knowledgeable staff can guide you in choosing the perfect Aubusson rug for your space.
  2. Online Auctions: Websites like Sotheby’s and Christie’s frequently feature authentic Aubusson rugs in their auctions. Participating in such auctions allows you to access a wide range of options and potentially acquire a rare piece.
  3. Antique Dealers: Antique dealers often have a selection of vintage Aubusson rugs that can add a touch of history to your home. These rugs may come with fascinating stories and unique designs.
  4. Artisan Workshops: If you’re seeking a custom or one-of-a-kind Aubusson rug, consider reaching out to artisans in Aubusson directly. They can create a bespoke piece tailored to your specifications, ensuring it seamlessly integrates with your decor.

Choosing the right source is crucial in finding an Aubusson rug that meets your expectations in terms of quality, authenticity, and design.

What Are the Aubusson Rugs Prices?

Aubusson rug prices can vary significantly depending on factors such as size, age, condition, and design complexity.

On average, a small Aubusson rug can range from $1,000 to $5,000, while larger, more intricate pieces can command prices well into the five-figure range. Vintage and antique Aubusson rugs may be priced higher due to their historical value.

When considering the cost of an Aubusson rug, it’s essential to keep in mind that you’re not just purchasing a functional item but also a work of art with cultural significance.

The investment value of authentic Aubusson rugs often appreciates over time, making them a unique and potentially lucrative addition to your home.


Aubusson rugs are not just floor coverings; they are works of art that have stood the test of time. Their rich history, exceptional craftsmanship, and timeless appeal make them a cherished addition to any home. Whether you’re drawn to their classic elegance or their ability to seamlessly blend into various decor styles, Aubusson rugs continue to captivate interior design enthusiasts worldwide.

When you invest in an Aubusson rug, you’re not just purchasing a piece of decor; you’re acquiring a piece of history and a symbol of enduring beauty that will grace your home for generations to come.

About the Author

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Helga is writing here all about carpets and rugs in our lives. She puts her own expertise of an ordinary human being, looks for challenges we all face in the world of carpets, does research, and puts the most valuable parts of information together to help homeowners and business owners maintain clean, fresh, and inviting spaces. We believe that a well-maintained carpet not only enhances the aesthetics of a room but also contributes to a healthier living or working environment.

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