The Oriental Rug & Textile Society was established in 1977 to encourage enthusiasm and interest in carpets and textiles of the Orient, but the Society is now concerned with carpets and textiles of the whole world. 


We advance understanding in the processes of making carpets and textiles, and promote knowledge of the traditional centres of weaving through specialist talks and in the pages of our journal.

The Society organises visits to museums, auction houses and private collections. Curators have always been exceptionally generous with their time and expertise, showing us treasures not normally seen by the public. 


Our overseas visits have included trips to Turkey, Romania, Poland, Hungary, Germany, Morocco, France, Armenia, Egypt, India, Iran and, most recently, Kyrgyzstan.


The South Kensington Museum's collection of carpets

16th DECEMBER 2020 at 6pm

A talk by Jennifer Wearden


The Victoria & Albert Museum and the Science Museum began life as ‘The South Kensington Museum’, a product of The Great Exhibition of 1851. In 1899 the decorative arts were separated from the sciences and the V&A was born. This talk will describe how and why the South Kensington Museum began to collect oriental carpets and it will give you an overview of the almost 200 carpets it acquired between 1876 and 1899.

Jennifer Wearden was Senior Curator (Textiles) in the V&A’s Department of Furniture, Textiles & Fashion until 2005. She is the author of Oriental Carpets and their Structure: Highlights from the V&A Collection (V&A Publications 2003) and is now a Year Course Director in the V&A’s Academy, devising and delivering courses on the history of textiles and dress.

Our EVENTS page has the full listings of our current programme as well as past activities. Join with an annual MEMBERSHIP to enjoy newsletters, lectures and upcoming trips...

>>> For the foreseeable future events will be online via the Zoom platform - details will be announced as they become available.


Wed. 21 October 2020

Navajo: A brief survey of the weavings of the Navajo (Anthony Hazledine)

Wed. 18 November 2020

The Column Motif in Ottoman Court Prayer Rugs and Beyond (Stefano Ionescu)

Wed. 16 December 2020

South Kensington Museum's collection of carpets (Jennifer Wearden)


© 2020 ORTS