The most delicate and European of all floor coverings, extremely elegant and wonderfully suited to formal sitting rooms and bedrooms. As they are a flatwoven tapestry weave and have no pile they require a high-grade rug pad to add depth and prevent movement. Regardless, they are surprisingly sturdy rugs!
Rugs made in the French town of Aubusson were formally recognised in the 17th Century and were cheaper options than the deep piled Savonnerie, which were the preserve of Royalty and the Nobility. Originally copies of rugs from Turkey and further afield were made in Aubusson but gradually the French developed their own distinctive highly floral and sophisticated look – flowers, garlands, heraldic symbols and rampant animals. These weavings reflected the style and features of the great French houses and palaces of the, time such as the mouldings and interiors of plush reds, golds, pink and green. The original old and antique Aubusson have a thicker, heavier yarn and are therefore less detailed but are consequently more substantial. However, the vintage French Aubusson have gaps in the blocks of design, the design being built up by the weavers one area at a time, and these were sewn together and over time came apart. The new Chinese reproductions do not have this problem and are a fraction of the price.