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Mamluk Rugs: How Afghan Artisans Revived a Lost Legacy

Met Museum, Mamluk Carpet, early 16th century, attributed to probably Cairo, Egypt.

Handmade Mamluk rugs have been around for centuries, but until recently, their design had been lost to time. But thanks to the efforts of Afghan artisans, the Mamluk design has been revived and transformed into something newthe Afghan-Mamluk rug! In this blog, we'll explore the history of Mamluk rugs, how they've changed over the last 100 years, and how The Rug Mine’s artisans are preserving and reviving this ancient tradition.

The Mamluk rug is a type of traditional rug design that originated in the Middle East. Mamluk rugs were first crafted by artisans in the Mamluk Empire, which was established in Egypt in the 13th century and lasted until the 16th century. The Mamluk Empire was renowned for its intricate designs, and this was reflected in the craftsmanship of their rugs. Mamluk rugs were made with natural fibers like wool, silk, and cotton, and were often adorned with geometric, floral, and animal patterns.

Met Museum: "Mamluk style carpets figured significantly in Mediterranean commerce and appear in Venetian paintings as early as the sixteenth century. They are characterized by a central medallion surrounded by a variety of smaller geometric motifs, forming a kaleidoscopic appearance. The palette is limited to red, blue, green, and yellow tones. Documents first refer to Cairo as a center of carpet weaving in the last quarter of the fifteenth century, and production continued until the mid-sixteenth century, shortly after the 1517 Ottoman conquest of Egypt."

After the decline of the Mamluk Empire, the Mamluk rug design all but disappeared for hundreds of years. But in the last 100 years, the Mamluk design has made a resurgence, thanks to the efforts of Afghan artisans. The Rug Mine's artisans have revived the Mamluk design, but with a modern twist. By combining traditional Mamluk elements with new materials and natural dyes from Afghanistan's gorgeous terrain, Afghan rug makers have created a new type of Mamluk rugthe Afghan-Mamluk rug.

These Afghan-Mamluk rugs are a beautiful blend of the old and the new. They feature traditional Mamluk motifs like geometric shapes, floral patterns, and sometimes animal designs, but they are also made with modern and contemporary colors like muted neutrals, pastels, and a variety of vibrant colors! This combination of old and new creates a truly unique and stunning rug design.

The Afghan-Mamluk rug is a true testament to the skill and dedication of Afghan rug makers. By reviving this ancient tradition, Afghan rug makers are preserving a piece of history, and creating something beautiful and unique in the process. Whether you're looking for a timeless piece of art or a modern statement piece, an Afghan-Mamluk rug is sure to fit the bill.

So, if you're looking for a truly unique and timeless piece of art, consider investing in an Afghan-Mamluk rug from The Rug Mine's Mamluk Revival Collection. Not only will you be getting a gorgeous piece of art, you'll also be supporting the efforts of Rug Mine artisans and helping to preserve a lost legacy.

Get your hands on a piece of history and view the entire collection here.

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