Also known as the Spring Festival in China, the 2015 Chinese Lunar New Year unfurls as the Year of the Green Wood Sheep, weaving together creativity, homeliness, rejuvenation and new beginnings.Symbolised by the Carnation flower and the colours of red, purple and green, the Sheep (or Goat or Ram - where the Chinese Yang character is the same for all), is the decorative artisan of the twelve animals that formulate the Chinese Zodiac.
The Year of the Sheep, therefore, is an opportunity for us to focus on this creature's most distinguishable and life-sustaining attribute: its fleece. A versatile, pliable and textural fibre that has been utilised by human civilisations for millennia, wool has been transformed into many and varied forms through felting, knitting and weaving craftsmanship, to name but a few.
As one of the world’s most ancient of crafts, where decorative artistic expression, durable usability and protection from the elements go hand in hand, rug weaving was cited in the Old Testament and Homer’s Iliad. Weaving skills have been passed down through the generations of apprenticeships, and ultimately shaped our lives and the landscapes in which we live, as we have nurtured, herded and cultivated sheep and goat husbandry for the wool trade across the aeons of time.
The element of wool is the foundation yarn for most of our weavings here at The Oriental Rug Gallery Ltd, and reflected in a myriad of decorative and unique, individually-sourced pieces in stock. From a captivating array of unique tribal trappings including woven horse covers, Baluch saltbags and Tekke Turkman juvals that include goat's hair as well as sheeps' wool, through our colourful collections of wool kilims, elegant aubussons and fascinating sumaks, to works of weaving finesse, such as our fine quality kurk-wool rugs and sumptuous silk & wool-mix pieces and scatter cushions.
On the left, we feature a snap-shot of The Oriental Rug Gallery Ltd's decorative and stylish pieces currently in stock, that reflect the Chinese Year of the Sheep's colours and symbols, while displaying the hand-woven craftsmanship synonymous with this ancient wool-weaving craft.
From top: Second image: one of our Traditional With A Twist! New Arts & Crafts-inspired wool rugs, with motifs reminiscent of ram's horns, hand-woven in madder-red and ivory on a green 'abrash' background. Third image: a 'New Khotan' wool rug chosen from our 'Traditional & Decorative' pieces, displaying a carnation gul (flower) designed as a series of 'medallion' motifs, hand-woven in madder-red on a rich, silky ivory background. Fourth image: one of our tribal flatweaves in wool and cotton detailing a quatrefoil motif of stylised rams' horns, overlaid on an ivory background, sitting on a madder-red field. Fifth image: an antique and rare suzani, with a hand-spun all-silk foundation, overlaid with felted, woven gul medallions in varying hues of cochineal purple, with saffron and moss green embroidery.
As we Step into Spring, why not rejuvenate or enhance your home with one of our stylish and decorative wool weavings and celebrate the Year of the Sheep in style!