Seated in the Western Anatolia part of Turkey, Uşak (pronounced: ooo-shock) has been an important weaving center for centuries, and was originally one of the main producers of the Lotto and Holbein designs that popularized “oriental carpets” in Europe in the 16th century. Star and medallion motifs are common among Uşaks, as are the all-over motifs seen in the famous Lotto carpets. (To understand the many spellings of Uşak, read our blog on rug names)
As interests in Europe turned to the local Aubusson, Savonnerie and Axminster, the town’s weaving capacity waned.
When tastes swayed again and Europeans sought oriental carpets in the late 19th century, Uşak reemerged as an important weaving center — but so did other regions seeking to fill the production gap and take advantage of the renewed interest. During the resurgence of the Uşak style, tastes shifted toward subtler colors than its original bright reds and emeralds, and incorporated delicate floral motifs usually associated with Persian designs.
Uşaks remain a popular style in the US and Europe.