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Art Deco Style Ideas & Tips

Energize Your Home Interior with Chinese Art Deco Rugs

In the early 1930’s and in 1920’s, art deco became the brand name of the modern art and design. Art deco style came into existence as a result of the 1925 Modern Decorative Arts Exposition in Paris. It was used in in almost everything from architectural design to carpet or rug design. Art deco rugs design features such as cubism and use of straight lines captured the attention of many countries and they started producing their own rugs. However, art deco rugs didn’t capture the public attention until few American entrepreneurs residing in China started to produce art deco rugs in their own distinctive style. They named their distinctively styled rugs as ‘Chinese art-deco rugs’.

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History of Chinese Art Deco Rugs

Chinese art deco rugs that were produced in the 1920s and 1930s were closely associated with two famous American names: Helen Fette and Walter Nicholas.

Helen Fette, an evangelist who used to sell rugs to raise funds to help people in China who were a victim food crisis. She had artistic skills and was well-versed with designing rugs and later associated with Li Meng Shu, a well-known Chinese carpet manufacturer at that time. Together they worked hard and formed a rug manufacturing company ‘Fette-Li’. This company became the biggest manufacturer of art deco rugs in the Peking area. Still, Helen Fette great efforts weren’t able to create a huge impact as those compared to Walter Nichols.

Walter Nichols became a well-known name with Chinese art deco rugs. He became so popular that people often refer to him as “Nichols Rugs”. Using the rug weaving method known as ‘Tientsin’, he created much thicker, stiffer and denser rug with a smooth surface and a luxurious appealing. As a wood grader, he has tremendous knowledge on the quality and types of wools, and used only premium quality wool for his art deco styled rugs. His rugs became famous all over the world.


Stylistically, the unique feature of Chinese art deco rugs was their amalgamation of Chinese motifs with variety of striking colors that had never been visible before. Usually, Chinese rugs make use of colors such as ivories, blues, reds and yellows. Chinese art deco rugs used striking shades/hues such as green, gold, fuchsia and turquoise. Chinese art design themes such as bamboos, flowers, pagodas, dragons and vases were still visible but were more noticeable in different sizes and colors. The symmetry used to produce traditional Chinese rugs was totally ignored in favor of new art deco rug design. So it can be summed up that Chinese art deco borrowed Chinese traditions to create a completely new style and design of rugs for Western countries.

Final Words

Chinese art deco rugs are very rare and are of great value. If you have a genuine Chinese art deco rug, you own a very historical piece of rug. Because your rug is unique, it is recommended that you should take proper care of it and get it cleaned taking help of some rug cleaning professionals.