Although Iran is indisputably known as the birthplace of Persian-style floor coverings, the Chinese were singing the praises of these carpets as early as 224 CE. Trade routes between the Far East and the Middle East brought wool and silk to rug makers, and the knowledge of the craft spread to China as a result. Nomadic tribes are credited with early rug making in China, and their influence is seen in the chosen colors and patterns on hand-knotted Chinese floor coverings.
Chinese floor coverings are rich in beauty and symbolism. Upon inspection of an authentic Chinese Oriental carpet, you’ll see a variety of animals, plants, and colors. The combination of these items used in Chinese carpets depicts parts of tribal or family history. Important events such as weddings, deaths, and battles were recorded on many of these carpets in the early days.
As with all hand-knotted Oriental carpets, knot count is an important consideration when determining the quality and value of Chinese floor coverings. However, the Chinese line-count nomenclature doesn’t directly align with how knots are counted on Pakistani and Indian carpets. You’ll commonly see Chinese floor coverings that are labeled 90-line, 120-line, or 160-line carpets. In a 90-line Chinese rug, there are 90 knots per linear foot when you measure the width of the floor covering. A 90-line rug equates to 56 knots per square inch.