Turkoman rugs are 100% wool rugs, which have a rich history among the tribes of Central Asia. In antiquity, these rugs were woven mainly to cover the floors and openings to the tents of nomadic tribesmen. Each tribe had its own motifs, usually in geometric styles known as guls, but overall rug patterns tend to be shared. Guls are usually octagonal and vary in size even within the same rug. The handmade rugs are colored in shades of red from mainly vegetable dyes.
Yomut rugs are among the most colorful of Turkoman weaves. They frequently use the dyrnak gul, kepse and the tauk muska guls with up to nine colors in a single gul. These area rugs can have boat borders, a repeating ‘S’ shaped border (the S may be reversed) or a leaf-and-vine
The Ersari tribe make rugs that are typically muted red colors. Blues contained within the rug can range from very dark to a robin’s egg light blue. Bright yellow can often be found within Ersari patterns. The overall pattern of many Ersari carpets is repeated rows of gul-I-guls framed by a busy border.
Saryk rugs can be broken down into three time periods that makes identifying the age of a carpet much easier than most. In their earliest time the weavers used mostly wool and the main colors were mainly orange with an apricot in the guls. By their middle period the main field ran to darker reds and the apricot guls deepened to orange. More cotton and silk is seen during this time as well. The third phase of Saryk rugs reveals browns and purples as main elements with silk colored by insect dyes. Cotton was used to provide white.
The Salor are the most colorful weavers of Turkomen rugs. It is not uncommon to find colors numbered in double digits in these wool rugs. The Salor gul-I-gul is nearly round and divided into quadrants containing three clover coming from the same point. Each clover has three leaves.
A Turkomen design common to all tribes is known as the hatchili. A cross divides the main field into quadrants. Each quadrant will typically hold the same pattern. This pattern is found on door rugs known as ensi(s). Variations on this design include less visible crosses. Regardless of variation, ensis never use guls and most use a repeating bird motif known as a kush.