Symbols used in Tibetan Carpets and their Motifs

making is one of the crafts. Those are traditionally made from Highland sheep’s wool called changpen. Tibetan carpets, on were first used for secular, utilitarian purposes, and therefore allowed for a greater range of artistic expression. For hundreds of years, Tibetans have used carpets for decorative and functional purposes, drawing upon geometric patterns, , real and mythical , and imagery to create beautiful, colorful designs and subject matter.

A Brief History of Tibetan Carpet

-making is one of the ancient traditions of the Central Asian region. prides itself on its long of fine craftsmanship and finishes and is extremely conscious of its influence on neighboring countries like and . They have been welcoming Tibetans willing to teach their nation’s rug-making methods. Due to this, Tibet’s traditions have subsequently brought new and thriving businesses to their neighbors and thus, attracted buyers from all around the world.

Symbols and their motifs in Tibetan Carpet

Carpets can also be carriers of encrypted messages. Here, Let’s discuss some of the used in Tibetan Carpets and their motifs:

Traditional Symbols in Tibetan Carpet

  1.   in Tibetan carpets.
  2.  Pictures as Language
  3. Dragon Carpets
  4. Phoenix as symbol
  5.  Combination of Dragon and Phoenix
  6.  Chrysanthemum
  7.  Floral
  8.  Coin design
  9. Coin and floral design
  10. design
  11.  Orchid design

  Symbols in Tibetan Carpets


The language of symbols is easily recognizable in carpet knotting. Buddhist symbols combined with some other symbol gives complete another meaning. Therefore, most of the motifs of Tibetan carpets is mostly for this reason which is more or less readable.

Pictures as language

A pictorial carpet is mainly referred to as an ornamental carpet which is specially prepared for decoration as well and informative purpose weather for hanging in a room or walls of the hall. These types of carpets are generally made up of and some of them are also made from wool. In the context of , the symbols themselves are part of visual . The motif of this type pf carpet is “ Picture speaks more than word”.

 Dragon Carpets



are symbols for power, strength, and divine protection. They also represent , fortune, and advancement within the Chinese . They represent that the very best divine power on and were, for that reason, reserved for the emperor. The dragon stands for the Yin, symbolizing the East and therefore rain. Additionally, it’s a male element and also denotes masculinity. The Dragon in Tibetan Carpet symbolizes power, strength, and divine Protection.

 Phoenix Carpets





Carpets consisting of the design of Phoenix refer to grace and elegance. The mythical bird phoenix combines the five qualities of a good life: virtuousness, a way of duty, blamelessness, humanity, and dependability. In its symbolic grace and elegance, the phoenix was also a logo reserved for an empress in . The  Phoenix in Tibetan carpets symbolizes grace and elegance that adds to the family, on other places.

 Dragon and Phoenix carpet

Dragon and Phoenix are two of the most powerful symbols of and in Chinese mythology. Within the Chinese iconography, the of the dragon and phoenix developed a replacement meaning. Together, they represent the imperial pair (emperor and empress), the harmonic unity of masculinity and femininity, also as that of Yin and Yang. Dragon is the “Yin” and Phoenix is the “Yang”, believed for a perfect balance that is needed for a successful life. There is believed that if the carpet having both Dragon and Phoenix is kept, This will lead to a happy marriage life or successful married life. Dragons and Phoenix in Tibetan carpet symbolize success and leading a happy life.

Chrysanthemum Traditional Tibetan Carpets


Chrysanthemum Traditional Tibetan Carpets



Chrysanthemum sounds almost like the concept of “resistance” or “to take a stand” also as “a long ” or a “long life.”

The chrysanthemum therefore also symbolically appears for deciding something. This design carpets especially refer to independence, to give people one’s .

The Chrysanthemum in Tibetan carpet symbolizes independence.

 Floral forms

Tibetan carpet with floral design

Tibetan carpet with floral design

Also, the non-pictorial ornamentation represents the reference to the Buddhist tradition which is a commonly occurring element that is known as Buddhist knots or the eternal knots.

It symbolizes the life eternal but also the lasting fortune. The medallions are connected to the Buddhist symbol of , which represents durability, stability, also because of the cycle of rebirth. Floral design in Tibetan carpet symbolizes life’s never-ending fortune.

 Coin design

Tibetan carpet with coin design in center

Tibetan carpet with coin design in center

The carpet consisting of coin design especially and and the strength of . Tibetan locals weave these carpets and put them in their house in the belief of eternal peace and harmony among family, friends, relatives, and so on. The coin design in Tibetan carpet symbolizes peace and harmony.

 Coin and Floral design

Tibetan carpet with Coin and flowers

Tibetan carpet with Coin and flowers

Tibetan Carpet having both coin and floral design symbolizes life’s never-ending and also everlasting fortune along with peace and happiness. This type of Tibetan  carpet symbolizes peace and harmony,

 Orchid Design

Flower Design Carpet

Orchid design carpets are the most popular carpets in these modern days. The Orchid Symbolizes refinement and humility. Above all, the feminine beauty, the sweet scent the orchid gives off is represented by these carpets.  The orchid design Tibetan carpet symbolizes refinement.

Lotus Flower Design

Tibetan carpet with lotus and border

Tibetan carpet with lotus and border

flower design represents wealth and honor. The pink blossom also mentions , confers beauty, and charm. The carpets with lotus flower imprints are supposed to bring good luck along with it according to Tibetan mythology. The lotus symbol in Tibetan carpet symbolizes wealth and honor.

Snow lion

Tibetan Rug with Snow Lion Design

Tibetan Rug with Design

The symbols of Tibetan carpets are mostly of . Others, like many animal depictions, have their roots within the mythology of Tibet. All symbols in traditional Tibetan carpets have in common that they’re promising. The snow lion is the national symbol of Tibetan. The snowline symbols in Tibetan carpet signifies their mythology.

Traditional Tibetan Tiger Design Carpet

Giant Tibetan Tiger Carpet

Giant Tibetan Tiger Carpet

Tigers embody power and a balanced . Tigers are a symbol of power and strength. They are seen as the animal from the south. They are frequently shown strolling in a forest. The Tiger carpets symbolize power and strength.


Geometric Carpet

Geometric Carpet

The is usually found in four corners of the carpets. Swastika means a Buddhist symbol that refers to eternal happiness. The Carpets containing Swastika symbolizes Eternal happiness.


Vases are sources of life. a minimum of for the flowers, that’s unquestionable. The symbol of having a vase design symbolizes the source of life.

Door Carpets

Door carpets are one of the rarest designs. These carpets were specially made to hang in the door as curtains.

Modern Tibetan Rug Design

  1. Kuba design
  2. Tibetan Runners
  3. Tibetan Floral Plumbs
  4. Geometric and Abstract designs
  5. Three coins Medallion
  6. Single Medallions

KubaModern Tibetan Design


Kuba Carpets are highly demanded. They are noted for their details and tightly woven designs. Sometimes Medallion patterns are made in a center and also, it to be noted that there are hundreds of many more designs.

Tibetan Modern Tibetan Runners


These are some of the most desired carpets in today’s world. These carpets come in virtually all colors and detailed designs.

Tibetan Floral Plumbs

The Tibetan Floral Plumbs is referred to as the reminiscence of old antique Tibetan carpet including modern design. The in these types of carpets are fresh and the colors used are bold colors.

Geometric and Abstract designs

This design is highly influenced by Westerns and their buyers. Earlier, these carpets were used by nomads for their own use. But now its most popular in foreign countries.

Three coin Medallion Carpet

The three-coin or medallion carpet is a traditional and much-loved design in Tibet. It is set against the deep background colors, the three medallions in the center are joined by symbols of .

Single Medallion

Single medallion carpets are set in beautiful background colors with a medallion in the center. And, the four corners are made with either a swastika design or any floral design.


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