Greek Rugs

Examples of Greek Rugs and Textiles

Flokati and Greek Key Rugs

When people speak of Greek rugs, they usually mean one of two distinct styles. The first is the flokati, and the other is the Greek key rug. Flokati is a centuries-old handmade art that harkens back to Ancient Greece. The other, Greek key, is a relatively recent development that has more to do with contemporary design trends than anything historical.

The Tradition of Flokati

First made by early Greeks called the Vlachs, flokati rugs are 100-percent wool and handwoven. The Vlachs were a shepherding people who began making high-pile rugs of sheep’s wool to simulate sheepskin. This method produced useful rugs while prolonging the life of valuable sheep. End products were used to line tents for the purpose of retaining warmth. The name flokati in the Vlach language means “like a flock of a sheep.” As shag rugs grew in popularity in the 1970s and beyond, simulated flokati Greek rugs made of synthetic materials also became popular.

Contemporary Greek Key Designs

Greek key rugs are not expressly rooted in Greece at all; they simply use the familiar repeating Greek key pattern as a design element. It usually forms a border around the rug, although sometimes the Greek key is used as the focal shape in the center. Its use in rugs is a more contemporary phenomenon, as Ancient Greeks mainly used the key in architecture and landscaping.


Greek Island embroidered Mihrab Panel

3 ft. 4 in. x 1 ft. 6 in.


Greek Island embroidery, early 20th century

Graphically very similar to Ottoman embroidery of the same period. Compare to a much larger Ottoman Silk

Size: 2 ft. 9 in. x 1 ft. 10 in.


Two Greek Island embroideries, early 20th century

Origin: Greece

Size: 74 by 57cm. and 79 by 53cm. including frames.


Heublein Perot/Marechal Greek Island Part Silk embroidery, possibly Naxos

Country of Origin: Greece

5ft. 5in. by 4ft.


Greek Island embroidered Mihrab Panel

Origin: Greece

3ft. 4in. x 1ft. 6in.


Epirus Silk Embroidered Figural Panel late 17th/early 18th century

Size: 7 in. x 3 ft. 5 in.

Period: Late 17th/early 18th century

Historical Portraiture of Ali Pacha, Vizier of Epirus

Heublein Perot/Marechal Greek Island Part Silk embroiderey, possibly Naxos

Size: 5ft. 5in. x 4ft. 4in.

Description: 19th century overcast on all four sides; minor losses to embroidery.