Damask rugs and fabrics originated in the Middle Ages in the ancient city of Damascus and they have evolved over hundreds of years with influences from Byzantium, Persia, Italy and France. This rich artistic history gives damask a unique appeal. The pattern in a damask fabric is woven in a different weave than the background- for example if the pattern is woven in a shiny satin weave and the background in a duller weave, the contrast between the shiny pattern and duller background adds another dimension. This added dimension and texture distinguishes damask fabrics from fabrics in which the pattern is merely printed on the cloth. The best damask rugs also contain two different textures- the pattern is usually in cut pile and the background is in a loop weave. Unfortunately too many damask rugs being made today take a short-cut and are made in just one texture which is usually cut pile. These rugs do not have the dimensional interest and texture of a cut and loop damask rug. Damask rugs come in a variety of color palettes ranging from tonal neutrals to high contrast colors. The eight interiors in today’s post feature several different styles of damask rugs and offer inspiration on how to add sophistication and a sense of history to both contemporary and traditional rooms.