Seraband Rug

Seraband Rug

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Seraband rug or Saraband, is an Iranian (Persian) handwoven floor rug from the Ser-e Band district (located southwest of Arak, Iran). These 19th-century and early-20th-century rugs have a “mir” design, characterized by small, pear or leaf forms in diagonal rows.

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Scandinavian Rugs

Scandinavian Rugs

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Scandinavia has a long and proud tradition of rug-making on par with many of the regions of the world that are perhaps more immediately associated with the craft—regions such as China and Persia. Rugs have been handmade by craftspeople in the Scandinavian countries of Denmark, Finland, Norway, and Sweden for centuries, and have often played important cultural roles in each of these countries. Contemporary Scandinavian rugs—most especially Swedish rugs—are among the most sought after rugs in the world today, largely due to the contributions of designers like Marta Maas-Fjetterstrom.[1] The story of Scandinavian rugs is a vital chapter in the cultural study of Scandinavia, as it reveals a great deal about the aesthetic and social conventions of that region.


The history of rug-making in Scandinavia is complex. Indeed, the history of how artisanal rug-making became a cultural institution throughout Scandinavia is very much the history of how the craft spread throughout the whole of Europe, from its origins as a traditional Eastern art form. Indeed, the rug-makers of Scandinavia – like many of their other European counterparts – were heavily influenced by the aesthetics as well as the manufacturing techniques of the rug-makers of Anatolia and Asia Minor, with whom the Scandinavians of the Early Middle Ages had considerable contact via international trade routes. By the tenth century of the Common Era, Scandinavians were trading extensively with the Byzantine Empire in Constantinople, creating a considerable interest in fine rugs throughout Scandinavia.[2]

Between the right and twelfth centuries of the Common Era, a large preponderance of traditionally made Byzantine rugs were brought into Northern Europe – including into the Scandinavian Kingdoms of DenmarkNorway and Sweden.[3] Because of those countries’ harsh climate, which frequently counts among the coldest and bitterest winters anywhere on Earth, the expertly crafted rugs of the Byzantines fit right in: the best Byzantine rugs were often hung in stately homes for insulation purposes and were frequently used as blankets by Scandinavian noblemen.[4][2] For a long time, it was this arrangement that dominated in Scandinavia: Oriental rugs were brought in from the Eastern Empire into Scandinavia, with very few original pieces actually being woven in Scandinavia. However, after centuries of exposure to fine Oriental rugs, the people of Scandinavia began to develop their own distinct style of artisanal rug-making.

By the fourteenth century A.D., Scandinavians had developed the art of the Rya (or Ryijy).[5] These distinctive rugs represented a new development in the art form that told the story of the artisans responsible for them: unlike the Oriental rugs of the Eastern Empire to which the Scandinavians had become accustomed, Ryas were made thick with shaggy, long pile: these rugs were specifically engineered to help the Scandinavian people weather their notoriously harsh winters. Soon after their development, Ryas were everywhere in Middle Ages Scandinavia, often replacing traditional Oriental rugs as well as cloaks and blankets. Splendid examples of this sort of tug have been found at archaeological excavations of old Viking settlements, most notably in York, England.[2]

In addition to serving as wall coverings and blankets for noblemen and commoners alike, traditional Ryas were also used in marriage ceremonies throughout Scandinavia, throughout the Middle Ages. Ryas woven for such occasions are very distinct pieces, often featuring the initials of the bride and the groom, the date of the wedding ceremony, a set of double hearts, and symbols and signs that represented the groom’s and the bride’s families. Wedding Ryas were extremely important, and perhaps represent the most distinct development in Scandinavian rug-making.[6]

Even as the Scandinavian rug-making tradition matured from the 1500s through the 1800s, more traditionally Oriental themes were incorporated into the finest Scandinavian rugs, with the Tree of Life motif featuring most prominently. A standby in Persian rugs, the Tree of Life symbol was adapted by the rug-makers of Scandinavia to represent family trees and ties.[citation needed]

By the 1880s, traditional Scandinavian rugs – and, most especially, Ryas – were hugely popular throughout northern Europe. In addition, Sweden had begun to produce a very distinctive style of rug, the Rollakan. These pieces were generally flat-woven rugs bedecked with elaborate tapestry art, making them very distinctive from the generally abstract, thick-piled Ryas – even as they were used for similar purposes.[citation needed]

From humble beginnings, the craft of rug-making in Scandinavia has blossomed into a complex art form with various outlets for craftspeople to explore. And though Rya rugs fell out of favor with the nobles of Scandinavia and were subsequently relegated to the domain of folk art,[when?][citation needed] there was a massive explosion in the popularity of the traditional Rya rug in the middle years of the twentieth century – a phenomenon that continues on today.[citation needed]

Ryas had been made with abstract, geometric designs for centuries, and had always been made with thick shaggy pile. This design style was particularly appealing to the modernist designers of mid-twentieth-century Europe and North America, who felt that shaggy, colorful carpets worked well to offset the harsher and colder design elements that dominated their own aesthetic: in a home with many straight lines, hard woods, and metals, the soft and colorful design style of Rya rugs gave a sense of warmth and color that often worked to create a homier house. Designers as influential as Ray EamesLe Corbusier, and Frank Lloyd Wright, were all known to enjoy the effect of a traditional Scandinavian rug.[citation needed]

Rug making techniques

The art of rug-making is ancient and extraordinarily complex – not to mention culturally significant to the peoples among whom such traditions developed. The complicated lists of knot-types and weaving techniques long employed by the master weavers of China and Persia are indicative of the importance of rug-making to those cultures. Though rug-making came to Scandinavia notably later than it did to traditional rug-making cultures in the Eastern world, an equally complex and sophisticated methodology for weaving fine rugs did develop in those northern European countries.[citation needed]

Rya rugs, for example, are woven with a combination of techniques that include weaving tapestry, needlework, and carpet knots.[7] Traditionally, Scandinavian Rya rugs were hand-made by artisans who would add symmetric Turkish (or Ghiordes) knots directly to the warp through a specially woven backing. Small holes in the weave allowed the rug-makers to insert evenly spaced knots using a larger tapestry needle.[citation needed]

It is interesting to note that, unlike many other culturally important rugs, Ryas were used with the pile facing downward, the better to insulate the wearer. As such, design elements and ornamentation were woven into the back of the rugs, with the pile consisting of solid colors. Over time, this was reversed, creating the colorful Ryas that caught the eye of the mid-twentieth century designers who did so much to popularize them.[citation needed]

It is difficult to talk about the history and style of Scandinavian rugs without mentioning Marta Maas-Fjetterstrom. One of the most important figures in the entire history of Scandinavian rug-making, Marta Maas-Fjetterstrom was a mid-twentieth century rug designer whose pieces are among the most noteworthy rugs ever designed.[1] Working from 1919 until her death in 1941, Maas-Fjetterstrom focused on creating rugs that communicated the intimacy of the natural world through a modernist approach to lines and geometric figures. With pieces in some of the most exclusive art museums in the world and an outsized reputation in the design world more than 70 years after her death, Maas-Fjetterstrom’s accomplishments illustrate the importance of Scandinavian rugs.[citation needed]

Modern design trends

Due largely in part to the influence of Marta Maas-Fjetterstrom, Scandinavian rugs have remained hugely popular over the past 70 years. Indeed, since her death in 1941, the demand for rugs made after her distinctive style has risen meteorically.[1] Maas-Fjetterstrom, upon her death, left to posterity more than 700 designs for rugs, along with meticulously detailed instructions for how to make them, including the different techniques that should be utilized in their manufacture. In addition to an enormous body of her own original work, Maas-Fjetterstrom also inspired a great many artists whose rugs are hugely desirable all over the world.[1]

Rug designed by artists such as Ann-Mari Forsberg, Barvro Nilsson, Marianne Richter, and others are available, and are hand-made in Maas-Fjetterstrom’s original studio in Bastad, where rugs have been hand-made since 1919.[1] It is difficult to overstate the influence that these designers and their works have had on the world of interior design. Even as tastes have changed since the 1920s and 1930s when Maas-Fjetterstrom herself was designing rugs, there is a quality to Scandinavian rugs that has intrigued leading designers and decorators for decades. If there is any one trend in the world of artisanal rugs, it is the increasing popularity of Scandinavian rugs.[1]

Many mid-twentieth century designers, interior decorators, and modern visionaries have been impressed by the uniquely sparse and geometric composition of traditional Scandinavian rugs, and most especially by those designed by Maas-Fjetterstrom and her peers. The attention to detail and treatment of color in Maas-Fjetterstrom rugs—as well as the approach to geometry and line theory in the most well-known pieces—combine to create just the sort of piece that perfectly complements the design aesthetic of individuals such as Ray EamesLe Corbusier, and Frank Lloyd Wright. A large reason behind the tremendous popularity enjoyed by mid-century Scandinavian rugs is the heavy incorporation of such pieces into these individuals’ own design work.[1]

Galleries and design studios throughout the world have recently begun to invest heavily in those Scandinavian rugs that are considered to be the best and the most representative of the aesthetic values of the famous mid-century modern Scandinavian rug-makers and designers. Galleries that specialize in antique rugs, such as the Nazmiyal collection in New York City, buy and sell a tremendous amount of Scandinavian rugs, underscoring the growing popularity of such pieces and the increased public demand for Scandinavian rugs. The increased demand for such rugs by galleries and studios is tied to a very real increased demand from decorators, collectors, and consumers.[citation needed]

The growing influence of Scandinavian rug-makers is an affirmation of the importance of the craft to the Swedish people. While not an artistic tradition of Scandinavian origin, rug-making has become a very important avenue of artistic expression in Scandinavia. As the taste for Scandinavian carpets and rugs continues to grow throughout the world, Scandinavian rug-makers will continue to produce unique and enduring works that represent those design elements and aesthetic ideals most important to the culture of the region.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Sarouk Persian Carpets

Sarouk Persian Carpets

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Sarouk rug is a type of Persian rug from Markazi Province in Iran. Sarouk (also Saruk or Sarough) rugs are those woven in the village of Saruk and also the city of Arak and the surrounding countryside.

Persian carpet market

Sarouk rugs have been produced for much of the twentieth century[1]. The early successes of the Sarouk rug are largely owed to the American market. From the 1910s to 1950s, the “American Sarouk”, also known as the “painted Sarouk”, was produced.

American customers had an affinity for the Sarouk’s curvilinear and floral designs. What they did not appreciate, however, was the color, so for much of the 1920s, 1930s and 1940s, rugs exported from Iran were dyed to a desirable, deep, raspberry-red color, once they arrive in the USA. In the second half of the 19th century, a huge market was created for Persian carpets in Europe and in the US. Many merchants bought the old and antique Persian rugs from all over Iran and exported them to other countries. They used the city of Tabriz in northwest Iran to export these antiques to Europe via Erzurum in Turkey. Some merchants also used the southern ports on the Persian Gulf to export Persian rugs to the US by ship.

Workshops established

By the later decades of the 19th century, probably around 1880, the supply of these fine antique rugs from Persia was on the low side. Therefore, many of the merchants from Tabriz decided to establish workshops in Sultanabad to produce rugs for the western market. This region had a fine carpet weaving tradition and was a perfect place to set up looms and rug workshops. Sarouk is a village located 30 miles north of the city of Sultanabad (today called Arak). Sarouk is famous for weaving very heavy body carpets.

Rising demand

To meet the rising demand in the west for Persian rugs, the British-Switzerland company Ziegler & Co. opened its office in Tabriz in 1878 and in Sultanabad in 1883. The first World Oriental Carpet Exhibition in 1891 in Vienna and another one in London in 1892 created a rising demand for Persian rugs in the west. Companies such as the British-Italian Nearco Castelli Brothers and the Eastern Rug Trading Company of New York established their branches in 1909 in Tabriz and later in Kerman. Atiyeh Brothers of Oregon also established their weaving facilities in Kerman after the start of the 20th century.

Sarouk style

Of these cities, Sultanabad and the surrounding towns and villages such as Sarouk, Farahan and Lilian were the most famous in the US. After establishing the offices and branches of foreign companies, the designs were created based on the customers’ tastes and demands, and new types of Persian rugs were produced. The kind of rugs today called Ziegler, or Sultanabad, were produced from the early years of the 20th century with the designs and color combination that Americans liked. There are many of them which are called the American Sarouk. Their colors look kind of dark or dirty pink. They have overall designs with no medallion or a very small floral medallion.

Sarouk rugs continue to be produced today, using the same methods as during early production, with the exception of the post-production dye job. Known for their exceptional quality and ability to withstand decades of wear, Sarouks continue to be best sellers. They are made with a high quality, tough wool using a Persian knot[2]. A tell tale sign of a Sarouk is usually its blue weft threads, salmon or tomato-red color mixed with ivory and blues, and a very traditional, floral style. The finest of the modern Sarouk rugs come from the small town of Ghiassabad.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Rya (rug)

Rya (rug)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


rya is a traditional Scandinavian wool rug with a long pile of about 1 to 3 inches.[1] They were made using a form of the Ghiordes knot to make the double-sided pile fabric.[2] Though rya means “rug” in English, the original meaning in Sweden of rya was a bed cover with a knotted pile.[3] The first ryas originated in the early fifteenth century as coarse, long-piled, heavy covers used by mariners instead of furs.[4] As time progressed, the rugs have evolved to be lighter and more colorful.[4] The insulationthat ryas provide protect against the cold Scandinavian climate.[2][4] Ryas are a knotted pile carpet, with each knot composed of three strands of wool, which enables the rug to exhibit rich texture from all the different shades of color.[5] The name originates from a village in southwest Sweden.[6] The term rya may also refer to a breed of sheep whose wool is used to make rya carpets (see Rya (sheep)).


A traditional rya rug, dated to 1733

In the early 9th to 10th centuries, Islamic silk textiles were introduced to Scandinavia by Viking merchants who traded in Russia and the Byzantine Empire.[7] Subsequently, the Scandinavian region acquired knotted pile carpets from the Ottomans in Anatolia.[7] In fact, the Marby rug, one of the earliest surviving Turkish carpets was found in the Church of Marby near Jämtland, Sweden.[7] Eventually, Scandinavians themselves produced rugs influenced by the oriental rug design.[7]

Ryas in Norway have dated back to the early 15th century.[8] During this time, they were worn by sailorsseal hunters, and fishermen to protect them from the frigid seas.[4]

Before the rya rug in Sweden, peasants would sleep between fur skins, but the skins could become stiff and the fur could not be washed.[3] The peasants then used wool plucked directly from the sheep without spinning to simulate fur as close as possible.[3] They used the natural colors of the wool, which were blackwhite, and grey, to make simple patterns in the high pile.[3] During the weaving, the wool was knotted in.[3] The pile side of the rya had a soft sheen that resembled fur and was placed facing the body just like the fur skins were used previously.[3] The pattern of the flat surface of other side was given less attention, and was the part on which the owner worked in their initials into the striped geometric design.[3] Later, the wool was put into hot water before being used, which shrunk, stiffened, and tightened the wool.[3] Consequently, the rugs were more durable, but were not as soft and glossy as earlier rya rugs.[3]

At around 1690, a new kind of rya emerged that mimicked foreign Baroque floral patterns, woven by the daughters and wives of burghers in Stockholm and later in the country.[3] This new rya had shorter piles and closer rows of knots, which made the rug lighter.[3] Additionally, the pile side now faced up to display the design.[3] Motifs from cross-stitch samplers were incorporated into the rya if foreign Baroque fabric was not available to copy.[3] The new rya concept spread from southern Sweden to northern Sweden.[3] Thus, the rya no longer kept its original practical role and instead became a daytime spread, thus forming the basis of modern-day rya rugs.[3]

In Sweden, ryas were used by the nobility as bedding as well as a display of social status.[6] However, by the 17th century, they lost their popularity with the nobility, and became bedding for the lower classes.[8] In eighteenth century Finland, ryas became decorative, with animal, flower, and symbolic designs.[8] They were used in weddingsas prayer rugs.[8] Rya rugs were part of the bride’s dowry,[9] and the brides were married standing on them.[2] These ryas would be displayed in the home like tapestries as mementos of the wedding and would often be passed down for generations as family heirlooms.[6]

A rya blanket

In the 1970s, rya rugs became popular in the United States, though shag carpet was not extensively advertised or promoted by trendsetters.[10] Finnish hand-knotted rya rugs were expensive and considered trendy.[10] Some say that the shag rugs helped keep people warm during times of cold weather during the 1973 oil crisis when energy was expensive, but the rugs’ popularity began before this period.[10]

See also

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Qom Rug

Qom Rug

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

A Qom rug.

Qom rugs (or Qum, Ghom, Ghum) are made in the Qom Province of Iran, around 100 km south of Tehran. Although rug weaving in Qom was not a major industry until the past 100 years, the luxurious silk and wool rugs of Qom are known for their high quality and are regarded among the most expensive in the world.[1]Persian Qum rugs are often considered as investment, because theirs value is constantly increasing.

Tree of life and medallion motifs feature heavily in rugs knotted in Qom. Shades are similar to most popular colors of Persian rugs – blue, red and ivory. Qom Rugs are typically smaller than other types of Persian rugs. They are often placed on walls.[2]

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Pakistani Rug

Pakistani Rug

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Pakistani rug (Pak Persian Rug or Pakistani carpet) is a type of handmade floor-covering textile traditionally made in Pakistan.


The art of weaving developed in the region comprising Pakistan at a time when few other civilizations employed it. Excavations at Moenjodaro and Harappa – ancient cities of the Indus Valley civilization – have established that the inhabitants used spindles and spun a wide variety of weaving materials. Some historians consider that the Indus Valley civilization first developed the use of woven textiles.[citation needed]

Carpet weaving may have been introduced into the area of present-day Pakistan as far back as the eleventh century with the coming of the first Muslim conquerors, the Afghan Ghaznavids and the Ghaurids. It can with more certainty be traced to the beginning of the Mughal Dynasty in the early sixteenth century, when the last successor of Timur, Babur, extended his rule from Kabul, Afghanistan to DhakaBangladesh and founded the Mughal Empire. Under the patronage of the Mughals, local craftsmen adopted Persian techniques and designs. Carpets woven in the Punjab at that time (often called Lahore carpets today) made use of motifs and decorative styles found in Mughal architecture.

Photograph of Carpet Weavers in Karachi Jail – 1873

During the Mughal period, the carpets made on the South Asia became so famous that demand for them spread abroad. These carpets boasted distinctive designs and high knot densities. Carpets made for the Mughal emperors, including Jahangir and Shah Jahan, were of the finest quality. Under Shah Jahan’s reign, Mughal carpet-weaving took on a new aesthetic and entered its classical phase.

The carpets woven in Lahore were the first to reach European markets, including England, as far back as Seventeenth century. During the British colonial era, prison weaving was established in district and female jails in cities such as Lahore and Karachi. Carpet-weaving outside of jails was revived after the independence when Pakistan’s carpet-weaving industry flourished.[1]

At present, hand-knotted carpets are made by Afghan refugees residing in Pakistan, making carpets and one of the country’s leading export products. Hand-knotted rug manufacture is Pakistan’s second-largest cottage and small industry. The craftsmen have the capacity to produce any type of carpet using all the popular motifs of guls, medallions, paisleys (botehs), traceries, and geometric designs in various combinations.[2]

Types of Pakistani rugs

  • Pak Persian

Persian inspired curvilinear and/or floral designs, usually styled from old Kashan, Kirman, Isfahan, Tabriz, Hunting, Tree of Life, Mahal and Sultanabad rugs. Woven with Senneh (Persian) knot.[citation needed]

Pakistani Bokhara rug

  • Bokhara

Ghiordes (Turkish) knot, geometric Tekke design. Pakistani Bokhara rugs are woven in many colors, ranging from classical reds to vibrant greens and golds.

  • Jaldar

Inspired from traditional Sarouk and Yamud designs that originated in Pakistan; it employs diamond-shaped gul motif repeated in rows. woven with Ghiordes knot.

  • Pak Gabbeh

A Pak Gabbeh is very similar in character to Persian Gabbeh and has modern contemporary designs. Normally woven with handspun wool and vegetable with both Senneh and Ghiordes knot.

Often referred as Ziegler, Oushak or Peshawar, Chobi rugs employ handspun wool and natural dyes. Floral patterns and usually woven with Senneh knot in Pakistan.

  • Caucasian

Traditional geometric design of Caucasus. Ghiordes knot.[dubious ][citation needed]

  • Shal

Derived from traditional shawl designs of old Persia.[citation needed][dubious ]

  • Lahore

Lahore became a prominent weaving center during the time of British, and they furthered the traditional weaving through various means including weaving rugs in Lahore’s jail. Most of the rugs produced at that time are commonly referred as Lahore rugs.

Weaving centers

Today, hand-knotted carpets are produced all over Pakistan with major centers established around bigger cities.


  • Quetta


  • Gilgit

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa

  • Haripur
  • Peshawar
  • Rasakai
  • Swabi
  • Swat (Islampur)


  • Attock
  • Bahawalpur
  • Daska
  • Dera Ghazi Khan
  • Faisalabad
  • Farooqabad
  • Gojra
  • Gujranwala
  • Hafizabad
  • Jaranwala
  • Kamalia
  • Kamoke
  • Lahore
  • Lodhran
  • Multan
  • Muridke
  • Narowal
  • Okara
  • Raiwind
  • Sangla Hill
  • Shakargarh
  • Sheikhupura
  • Sialkot
  • Toba Tek Singh


  • Hyderabad
  • Islamkot
  • Karachi
  • Khadro
  • Mehrabpur
  • Mirpur Khas
  • Mithi
  • Nawabshah
  • Rohri
  • Sanghar
  • Sukkur
  • Tando Adam
  • Tharparkar
  • Umerkot

See also

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Navajo Weaving

Navajo Weaving

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

A contemporary Navajo rug

Historic third phase Chief’s blanket, circa 1870-1880

Navajo rugs and blankets (Navajodiyogí) are textiles produced by Navajo people of the Four Corners area of the United States. Navajo textiles are highly regarded and have been sought after as trade items for over 150 years. Commercial production of handwoven blankets and rugs has been an important element of the Navajo economy. As one expert expresses it, “Classic Navajo serapes at their finest equal the delicacy and sophistication of any pre-mechanical loom-woven textile in the world.”[1]

Navajo textiles were originally utilitarian blankets for use as cloaks, dresses, saddle blankets, and similar purposes. Toward the end of the 19th century, weavers began to make rugs for tourism and export. Typical Navajo textiles have strong geometric patterns. They are a flat tapestrywoven textile produced in a fashion similar to kilims of Eastern Europe and Western Asia, but with some notable differences. In Navajo weaving, the slit weave technique common in kilims is not used, and the warp is one continuous length of yarn, not extending beyond the weaving as fringe. Traders from the late 19th and early 20th century encouraged adoption of some kilim motifs into Navajo designs.


The original function of Navajo weaving was to produce clothing: “shoulder robes, rectangular panel or wrap-around-dresses, semi-tailored shirts, breechcloths, and a variety of belts, shoulder robes, sashes, hair ties, and garters.”[2] The production of weaving flourished after the mid 1800s for trade with the white settlers.


Navajo weavers at work, Hubbell Trading Post, 1972.

Pueblo influence

The Navajo may have learned to weave from their Pueblo Indian neighbors when they moved into the Four Corners region during the year 1000 A.D.[3] Some experts contend that the Navajo were not weavers until after the 17th century.[4] The Navajo obtained cotton through local trade routes before the arrival of the Spanish, after which time they began to use wool. The Pueblo and Navajo were not generally on friendly terms due to frequent Navajo raids on Pueblo settlements, yet many Pueblo sought refuge with their Navajo neighbors in the late 17th century to evade the conquistadors in the aftermath of the Pueblo Revolt. This social interchange is the probable origin of the distinctive Navajo weaving tradition.[5] Spanish records show that Navajo people began to herd sheep and weave wool blankets from that time onward.[4]

The extent of Pueblo influence on Navajo weaving is uncertain. As Wolfgang Haberland notes, “Prehistoric Puebloan textiles were much more elaborate than historic ones, as can be seen in the few remnants recovered archaeologically and in costumed figures in pre-contact kiva murals.” Haberland suggests that the absence of surviving colonial-era Pueblo textile examples make it impossible to do more than conjecture about whether the creative origins of Navajo weaving arose from Navajo culture or were borrowed from the neighboring people.[6][7]

Early records

Navajo winter hogan with blanket used as a door, 1880-1910

Written records establish the Navajo as fine weavers for at least the last 300 years, beginning with Spanish colonial descriptions of the early 18th century. By 1812, Pedro Piño called the Navajo the best weavers in the province. Few remnants of 18th-century Navajo weaving survive; the most important surviving examples of early Navajo weaving come from Massacre Cave at Canyon de ChellyArizona. In 1804, a group of Navajo were shot and killed there, where they were seeking refuge from Spanish soldiers. For a hundred years the cave remained untouched due to Navajo taboos until a local trader named Sam Day entered it and retrieved the textiles. Day separated the collection and sold it to various museums. The majority of Massacre Cave blankets feature plain stripes, yet some exhibit the terraces and diamonds characteristic of later Navajo weaving.[8]

Wider commerce

Map of the Santa Fe trail in 1845

transitional blanket, woven circa 1880-1885. The thick handspun yarns and synthetic dyes are typical of pieces made during the transition from blanket weaving to rug weaving, when more weavings were sold to outsiders.

Commerce expanded after the Santa Fe Trail opened in 1822, and greater numbers of examples survive. Until 1880, all such textiles were blankets as opposed to rugs. In 1850, these highly prized trade items sold for $50 in gold, a huge sum at that time.[9]

Railroad service reached Navajo lands in the early 1880s and resulted in considerable expansion of the market for Navajo woven goods. According to Kathy M’Closkey of the University of Windsor in OntarioCanada, “wool production more than doubled between 1890 and 1910, yet textile production escalated more than 800%”.[10]Purchases of manufactured yarn compensated for the deficit in wool production.[11] Federal government reports affirmed that this weaving, which was performed almost exclusively by women, was the most profitable Navajo industry during that era.[12] Quality declined in some regards as the weavers attempted to keep up with demand.[13] However in today’s society an average price of a rug goes for about $800.00.

Several European-American merchants influenced Navajo weaving during the next decades. The first to advertise Navajo textiles in a catalog was C. N. Cotton in 1894. Cotton encouraged professional production and marketing among his peers and the weavers whose work they handled. Another trader named John. B. Moore, who settled in the Chuska Mountains in 1897 attempted to improve the quality of textiles he traded. He attempted to regulate the cleaning and dyeing process of artisans who did business with him, and shipped wool intended for higher grade weaving outside the region for factory cleaning. He limited the range of dyes in textiles he traded and refused to deal fabric that had included certain commercially produced yarns. Moore’s catalogs identified individual textile pieces rather than illustrating representative styles. He appears to have been instrumental in introducing new motifs to Navajo weaving. Carpets from the Caucasus region were popular among Anglo-Americans at that time. Both the Navajo and the Caucasus weavers worked under similar conditions and in similar styles, so it was relatively simple for them to incorporate Caucasus patterns such as an octagonal motif known as a gul.[14]

Traders encouraged the locals to weave blankets and rugs into distinct styles. They included “Two Gray Hills” (predominantly black and white, with traditional patterns), “Teec Nos Pos” (colorful, with very extensive patterns), “Ganado” (founded by Don Lorenzo Hubbell), red dominated patterns with black and white, “Crystal” (founded by J. B. Moore), Oriental and Persian styles (almost always with natural dyes), “Wide Ruins,” “Chinle,” banded geometric patterns, “Klagetoh”, diamond type patterns, “Red Mesa” and bold diamond patterns. Many of these patterns exhibit a fourfold symmetry, which is thought by Professor Gary Witherspoon to embody traditional ideas about harmony or Hozh.

Recent developments

Large numbers of Navajo continue to weave commercially. Contemporary weavers are more likely to learn the craft from a Dine College course, as opposed to family.[15] A Navajo woman struggles and sacrifices, but for some this is their only source of income. Contemporary Navajo textiles have suffered commercially from two sets of pressures: extensive investment in pre-1950 examples and price competition from foreign imitations.[16] Modern Navajo rugs are indeed notable for their high prices.[17]


A Navajo woman shows the long, dense wool of a Navajo-Churro ewe to a Navajo girl.


The cost of one rug cost around $1,000-$20,000 or even more the reason is because, the shearing, washing, and weaving.

Wool and yarn

Model of Navajo Loom, late 19th century, Brooklyn Museum

In the late 17th century, the Navajo acquired the Iberian Churra, a breed of sheep from Spanish explorers.[18] These animals were developed into a unique breed by the Navajo, today called the Navajo-Churro. These sheep were well-suited to the climate in Navajo lands, and that produced a useful long-staple wool.[18] Hand-spun wool from these animals was the main source of yarn for Navajo blankets until the 1860s, when the United States government forced the Navajo people to relocate at Bosque Redondo and seized their livestock. The 1869 peace treaty that allowed the Navajo to return to their traditional lands included a $30,000 settlement to replace their livestock. The tribe purchased 14,000 sheep and 1,000 goats.[19]

Mid-19th century Navajo rugs often used a three-ply yarn called Saxony, which refers to high-quality, naturally dyed, silky yarns. Red tones in Navajo rugs of this period come either from Saxony or from a raveled cloth known in Spanish as bayeta, which was a woolen manufactured in England. With the arrival of the railroad in the early 1880s, another machine-produced yarn came into use in Navajo weaving: four-ply aniline dyed yarn known as Germantown because the yarn was manufactured in Pennsylvania.[20]

Among the locally produced yarns for Navajo textile, indiscriminate breeding from 1870-1890 caused a steady decline in wool quality. Increasing proportions of brittle kemp can be found in well-preserved examples from the period. In 1903, federal agents attempted to address the problem by introducing Rambouillet rams into the breeding population. The Rambouillet is a French breed that produces good meat and heavy, fine-wool fleeces. The Rambouillet stock were well adapted to the Southwestern climate, but their wool was less suitable to hand spinning. Short-stapled Rambouillet wool has a tight crimp, which makes hand spinning difficult. The higher lanolin content of its wool necessitated significantly more scouring with scarce water before it could be dyed effectively. From 1920 to 1940, when Rambouillet bloodlines dominated the tribe’s stock, Navajo rugs have a characteristically curly wool and sometimes a knotted or lumpy appearance.[21]

In 1935, the United States Department of the Interior created the Southwestern Range and Sheep Breeding Laboratory to address the problems Rambouillet stock had caused for the Navajo economy. Located at Fort Wingate, New Mexico, the program’s aim was to develop a new sheep bloodline that simulated the wool characteristics of the 19th-century Navajo-Churro stock and would also supply adequate meat. The Fort Wingate researchers collected old Navajo-Churro stock from remote parts of the reservation and hired a weaver to test their experimental wool. Offspring of these experiments were distributed among the Navajo people. World War II interrupted the greater part of this effort when military work resumed at Fort Wingate.[22]


Weaving, mid 19th or early 20th century, Brooklyn Museum

Prior to the mid-19th century, Navajo weaving coloration was mostly natural brown, white, and indigo.[23] Indigo dye was obtained through trade and purchased in lumps.[24]

By the middle of the century, the palette had expanded to include red, black, green, yellow, and gray which signifies different aspects of the earth as defined by different locations of the reservation. Navajo used indigo to obtain shades from pale blue to near black and mixed it with indigenous yellow dyes such as the rabbit brush plant to obtain bright green effects. Red was the most difficult dye to obtain locally. Early Navajo textiles use cochineal, an extract from a Mesoamerican beetle, which often made a circuitous trade route through Spain and England on its way to the Navajo. Reds used in Navajo weaving tended to be raveled from imported textiles. The Navajo obtained black dye through piñon pitch and ashes.[25]

After railroad service began in the early 1880s, aniline dyes became available in bright shades of red, orange, green, purple, and yellow. Gaudy “eyedazzler” weaves dominated the final years of the 19th century.[26] Navajo weaving aesthetics underwent rapid change as artisans experimented with the new palette and a new clientele entered the region whose tastes differed from earlier purchasers. During the later years of the 19th century, the Navajo continued to produce earlier styles for traditional customers while they adopted new techniques for a second market.[27]


Navajo family with loom. Near Old Fort Defiance, New MexicoAlbumen printphotograph, 1873.

Traditional Navajo weaving used upright looms with no moving parts. Support poles were traditionally constructed of wood; steel pipe is more common today. The artisan sits on the floor during weaving and wraps the finished portion of fabric underneath the loom as it grows. The average weaver takes anywhere from 2 months to many years to finish a single rug. The size greatly determines the amount of time spent weaving a rug.[28] The ratio of weft to warp threads had a fine count before the Bosque Redondo internment and declined in the following decades, then rose somewhat to a midrange ratio of five to one for the period 1920-1940. 19th-century warps were colored handspun wool or cotton string, then switched to white handspun wool in the early decades of the 20th century.[29]

Cultural perspectives

Weaving plays a role in the creation myth of Navajo cosmology, which articulates social relationships and continues to play a role in Navajo culture. According to one aspect of this tradition, a spiritual being called “Spider Woman” instructed the women of the Navajo how to build the first loom from exotic materials including sky, earth, sunrays, rock crystal, and sheet lightning. Then “Spider Woman” taught the Navajo how to weave on it.[16]

Use of traditional motifs sometimes leads to the mistaken notion that these textiles serve a purpose in Navajo religion. Actually these items have no use as prayer rugs or any other ceremonial function, and controversy has existed among the Navajo about the appropriateness of including religious symbolism in items designed for commercial sale. The financial success of purported ceremonial rugs led to their continued production.[30]

Schools of Thought

  • Ganado Red
  • Two Grey Hills
  • Red Mesa
  • Tec Nos Pos
  • Klagetoh
  • Chinle
  • Crystal
  • Burntwater
  • Dilcon

Critical study

Woman’s fancy manta, circa 1865. “Navajo people believe in beauty all around and, here, this weaver is weaving her version of beauty.” —Sierra Ornelas, Navajo weaver.

Until recently, anthropologists have dominated the study of Navajo textiles. Most historic examples of these works belong to ethnological collections rather than fine artcollections, which means items have been exhibited and analyzed with an eye toward normative or average works rather than emphasizing technical or artistic excellence. These priorities have artificially inflated the market value for items of inferior craftsmanship. In general, this tendency has affected most non-European art to some degree.[31]

Other factors that have hindered art criticism of Navajo textiles include the common distinction between fine art and applied art and the scholarly theory among some archaeologists and art historians that pure artistic expression cannot exist among non-literate peoples.[32]

See also

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Nain Rug

Nain Rug

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

A round Nain rug.

Nain rugs are constructed using the Persian knot and typically have between 300 and 700 knots per square inch.[citation needed] The pile is usually very high quality wool, clipped short, and silk is often used as highlighting for detail in the design.[citation needed]

See also

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Lilihan Carpets and Rugs

Lilihan Carpets and Rugs

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Antique lilihan persian carpet 433671.jpg

Armenians wove Lilihans in Lilihan village in what used to be called Kamareh (now Khomeyn) district in Iran1 The term Lilihan is better known in the US, in Europe it is not as widely used.2


Although a wide range of carpet and mat sizes are produced, the most common sizes found are 4 x 6 to 8 x 10 feet.3 The use of a longer pile traditionally appealed to Americans.4 The Lilihan rugs are executed using the Hamadan (single-wefted) weave, typically this means that they have one heavy cotton weft and are made with thick, first quality wool. The Lilihan rugs are the only fabrics in the Sultanabad region to be single-wefted. Lilihan carpets and rugs are coarsely, but tightly flat woven, making them extremely durable.


Lilihan carpets and rugs are similar to Sarouk rug carpets in colour, style and thickness.6 According to Leslie Stroh of Rug News, there are about 3000 different designs for Hamadan rugs. This is attributed to 1500 villages in the Hamadan region that each produced two styles of designs. While some geometric patterns can be found amongst Lilihan carpets, the more prevalent designs are traditional floral motifs.7


The pink colour of the weft, distinguishes the Lilihan carpets from all others. Khaki and brown also accentuate the primarily salmon field colour.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Quba Rugs and Carpets

Quba Rugs and Carpets

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Quba rugs and carpets are named for a town that is located in Azerbaijan Republic not far from the Caspian Sea; therefore, making Kubas a sub-division of Caucasian carpets.1 Kuba is at once a city and an area that was formerly a Khanate (the equivalent to a state region in the traditional Persian system) of Azerbaijan.2 Within the Kuba genre itself, there exist many subdivisions including: Alpan-Kuba, Karagashli, Konaghend, Chi Chi, Perepedil, Seychour and Zejwa.3

Antique Kuba Caucasus Runner


Quba rugs are highly desired. Among the more popular types of Kubas are Chi-Chi and Konaghend patterns, which are coveted by collectors. Noted for their detailed and tightly woven design, Kuba rugs are prized as the finest of all Caucasian rugs.4 Some medallion patterns are used, but Kuba rugs and carpets have hundreds of designs and do not utilize medallions as often as other regions’ rugs.5


During the 1920s, rugs of the Caucasus were greatly exported to the West in large quantity along with many older pieces that had been used in Russia.6

Materials and Structure

Rugs from the Quba region are made from wool, though cotton is also used on rare occasion. The wool is always composed of two strands, making it 2-plyWarp will vary according to region, but ply consistently remains 2-ply. Kuba rugs in general are woven using a single-warp method: the warp threads lie along the same level, as opposed to depressed warp where the warp threads alternate between are sunken and raised. Often the depressed threads are lowered as much as 75%.7 The threads are symmetrically knotted and the sides of Kuba rugs are finished with a blue or white selvage of wool or cotton.8The warp ends are tied together in several rows of knots.

Shirvans and Dagestans

The Shirvan region, which is part of Azerbaijan, lies in Southern Caucasus where the mountain chain descends into the Caspian Sea. Historically, the rugs made in Kuba, Baku and Dagestan were also encompassed under the term Shirvan. 9 Kubas can be differentiated from Shirvans and Dagestans by dense, ribbed structure and higher knot count.10

The Kuba school that includes the Gonagkend and Divichi districts covers up to 35 pattern compositions of the carpets. Kuba is an historical region hosting plenitude of various tribes. Even now the region is populated by ethnic groups that speak different languages, among them Azerbaijanis, Lezghins, Tats, Budugs, Gyryzys and others. The Kuba carpets are remarkable for a wide variety of designs, which may differ even from village to village. The ornamental pattern is characterized by geometrical and vegetal motifs, most of them stylized. These include Gyryz, Gymyl, Gonakend, Shahnezerli and other carpets. On the face of it, the ornamental pattern in the Kuba carpet group may appear to be too mixed and varied. However, on closer examination it becomes evident that all ornaments in the composition strictly follow a common design.

Carpet types


The composition of the center field consists mainly of several gels and ketebe, which come one after another along the main axis in the vertical direction. Around these, there are scattered a lot of larger and smaller elements of different forms. Such elements can be encountered not only in the Kuba group carpets, but also in Shirvan, Baku and even Kazakh carpets with various compositions. The center field of such a compositions is viewed as “achig yerli”. i.e. open or non-closed background. The Kuba carpet border ornamental patterns include various stripes, among them a center edge, a smaller edge, medahils. The element that serves as the prime ornament and constitutes the rapport of the edge, is referred to by the weavers as “tongal”, i.e. bonfire. Such a name can be assumed to be related to the ancient fire-worshipper’s beliefs. The color of the Kuba group carpets background is most often dark-navy blue or dark-sky blue.

Kehna Kuba

The composition of the center field of this red background carpet consists of three large octagonal medallions, which are lined up in the vertical direction. The medallions are of the same color, form and size. The medallions are set off by a rather narrow edge, which at the same time goes from the center field towards the border of the carpet. The edge itself is also one of the stripes in the overall border edge. In the center of the medallions there are small octagons framed by ornamental patterns (medahil and koshajag). The center field is surrounded by a common border, which consists of eight stripes.


The Alpan carpets derive their name from the village of Alpan near the Susachai river. The composition of this carpet is widely spread in the villages of Susai and Sabat. Since the second half of the 19th century it was also picked up by carpet workshops of the Gusary district. Among the experts this carpet is also known as “Kuba”, “Dagestan”. The ornamental pattern is characterized by geometrical and vegetal motifs, most of them stylized. The medallions of the Kuba group carpets have a more intricate form as compared to carpets of other regions. The composition is based on gels and “hercheng” (“crawfish”) – the elements that surround the medallions cornerwise. The Alpan carpet weavers refer to the medium-size gels as “charhovuz” (“pool”), while the minute elements inside the gel are called “ordek” (“ducks”). The rest of the center field contains stylized geometrical and vegetal elements of various forms. The dominant colors are dark-green and yellow hues. The carpet is notable for its high degree thickness and exquisite ornamental pattern.

Hyrdagul Chichi

The carpet is made in weaving centers of Kuba. The carpet is named “Hyrdagul Chichi” because the center field consists of minute elements that are called “hyrdagul” (“tiny flowers”). The overall composition of the center field is formed by several short rapports along the horizontal and vertical axes. These rapports contain a number of minute elements that are meant to fill, connect and substitute. The main element of the composition is known as “bashmag”, being a stylized leaf. Each of the rest of the elements serve as a beginning or the center of the rapport. The carpet is framed by a border consisting of one center edge, two edges and a jag.

Alchagul Chichi

This carpet belongs to the village of Derechichi, Kuba district. While the rug weavers call it “Alchagul Chichi”, among the carpet experts it is known as “Chichi”. The carpets manufactured in Nabur, Shemakha, Alchiman, Shirvan (where they were influenced by technological and artistic trends) are named “Shirvan Chichi”. The composition of the center field is mainly filled by the elements “Alchagul Chichi “. These recurring elements form horizontal and vertical rows. The border stripe consists of various width stripes, including jag, medahil, zenjira. Their ornamental pattern is characterized by geometrical and vegetal motifs, most of them stylized and distinguished by high thickness and exquisiteness. The pliability of the design and emotional expressiveness of the form and color are intended to convey the joyous perception of life. The artistic effect is further intensified through rhythm, symmetry and a clearly expressed composition, all of them following a common harmony.

Syrt Chichi

The Syrt Chichi carpet belongs to the village of Derechichi. Among the arts and carpet experts it is also known as “Chichi”. The carpets manufactured in Nabur, Shemakha, Alchiman, Shirvan (where they were influenced by technological and artistic trends) are named “Shirvan Chichi”. The composition of the center field is mainly filled by the elements “Syrt Chichi “.These recurring elements form horizontal and vertical rows. The border stripe consists of various width stripes, including jag, medahil, zenjira.

Golu Chichi

The Syrt Chichi carpet belongs to the village of Derechichi. Among the arts and carpet experts it is also known as “Chichi”. The carpets manufactured in Nabur, Shemakha, Alchiman, Shirvan (where they were influenced by technological and artistic trends) are named “Shirvan Chichi”. The composition of the center field is mainly filled by the elements “Syrt Chichi “.These recurring elements form horizontal and vertical rows. The border stripe consists of various width stripes, including jag, medahil, zenjira.


Gymyl was first woven in Gabala in the 14th-15th centuries. Later, beginning with the 18th century, it spread over to Kuba and individual carpet workshops of the Kuba district. As a result, moving further away from the village of Gymyl the carpet gradually lost its artistic values and underwent a number of distortions. In the middle of the center field there is a polygonal oblong medallion. This medallion used to be called “khoncha”, however in the second half of the 19th century it became widely known among the carpet weavers under the name “tray”. Typically to this composition, to the top and bottom of the medallion there are four large polygonal elements, which are called “sham” (“candle”, “lantern”). The composition of the center field of the Gymyl carpet is formed by the stylized images of a whole range of objects and decorations. It resembles a picture of a wedding or a feast.


The famous carpet Garagashly of the Kuba group is made in the villages of Haji-Garagashly, Chai-Garagashly and Susanly-Garahashly of the Divichi district. On the center field along the vertical axis there are small medallions. The oldest carpet weavers and experts believe that these medallions depict “musical instruments”. Between the medallions there are elements of various types, colloquially named “gushbashy”(“bird’s head”). The typical color of the Garagashly center field background is dark-navy blue or dark-red. In rare cases one can Garagashly carpets with a dark-sky blue or white background. The ornamental pattern is characterized by geometrical and vegetal motifs, most of them being stylized and notable for their high thickness and exquisiteness.


The name comes from the name of the village of Shakhnazerli. This type of the carpet includes 35 compositions. In spite of the fact that the Shakhnazarli carpet production centers are the villages of Shakhnazerli, Melkham, Geylere, Gonakend, it was also made in the villages of the Kuba, Shemakha and Agsu districts. The composition of the center field is mainly formed by several gels placed along the vertical axis. Typically to this carpet, within the center field there are two gubps or two bashlyg, one of them in the bottom part, at the beginning of the first gel, while the second one – in the upper part, at the end of the last gel. These gubps, heavily stylized, not only impart completeness and final shape to the gels, but also perfect the composition of the center field and improve the grouping of the gels. In Azerbaijan and in Central Asia, the folk rug makers and craftsmen call any carpet with lots of medallions “Gellu”, irrespective of the composition. These gels, most of them of an octagonal shape and decorated by an edge or small squares, by virtue of their simplicity and vivid colors differ significantly from the gels of the Kazakh, Karabakh and South-Azerbaijan carpets. The highly stylized gubps make the carpet look complete, improve the composition and help in grouping the gels. The high thickness, rich decoration of the ornamental pattern, delicate weaving constitute characteristic features of this carpet group.

Great Pirebedil

Historically, this carpet was first made in the 15th century in the town of Great in Afghanistan. Later, it spread in the southern regions of Azerbaijan, under different names. In particular, it known as “Balyg” in Karabakh.


This carpet derives its name from the village of Pirebedil. The local carpet makers call this carpet “Burma”, “Gyrman”, sometimes “Gaichi”. Some of the oldest carpet weavers and arts experts refer to it as “Migradi” or “Grou”, which is a modification of the Arab word “menrou” (“scissors”). To the left and right of the center field there is an element that is typical only to this carpet type and resembles scissors by its shape. The Pirebedil carpets are more ancient than any other Azerbaijani carpet. The basic elements are “gaichi” or “buinuzu” (“horns”) on the left and right sides of the carpet as a symbol heroism and courage, an image of a turkey cock in the middle of the center field and along its edge line, leaves of fruit trees and octagonal gels. Typically, the color of the background of the center field is dark-navy blue or dark-red.


This carpet derives its name from the village of Zeiva to the SE of Kuba. In foreign sources it is referred to as the Shirvan carpet. It is also known under the name of “Gadym Zeiva”. The typical composition of the center field of the Zeiva includes a sequence of a number of gels along the central axis. By their shape and origin these gels, which form the main element of the Zeiva carpet and are reproducible entirely by dotted lines, can be attributed to the Middle Age period. These gels come of various types and are encountered in the decorative art not only in the Caucasus but also in the Baltic states, where they are most typical to the art of carpet weaving and embroidery. Around these gels, in an asymmetrical arrangement there are various filling elements called “sakkizbujagly”, “garmagly”, “alma”. Typically, the center field background color is dark-red, dark-navy blue, beige.


The Alikhanly carpet is included into the Kuba group of the Kuba-Shirvan type. The name is derived from the village of Alikhanly in the Siazan district. This carpet is also made in the NE Azerbvaijan, namely in the Devechi district. In his “Gulustan Irem” A. Bakikhanov associates the name of the village of Alikhanly with the wall “Algon” and assumes that its actual name is “Algonly”. He gives the following explanation: “This wall was built by Isfandiyar (the 6th century BC), and restored by Anushirivan (the 4th century)”. The center field composition is mainly made of several large gels, placed one after the other long the central vertical axis. The gels shape is curve-linear and toothed. In the center field of the carpet, along its horizontal axis there are one, two or, in rare instances, three gels. The ornamental pattern consists of intricate motifs represented by broken lines. These motifs were created by the Middle Ages carpet craftsmen.


The Gonagkend carpets were made in the 18th-19th centuries. Their artistic and decorative features were gradually modified and as a result the carpets now look completely different from the Khorasan carpets, which are believed to be their prototype. The main composition of the Gonakend carpet is formed by a large medallion located in the middle of the center field. Inside the medallion, there are 8 small crosses arranged centrally. The medallions are decorated by the elements of the geometrical lines, which resemble images of some primitive farm tools. This carpet looks significantly different from its ancestor and is now ranked among the national Azerbaijani carpets. Due to the expansion of trade-fairs in the 18th century and especially in the second half of the 20th century, the composition of this carpet began to be used in the flat-woven large-size carpets.

Gedim Minare

In the center field composition the element “zenjire”, otherwise called “daragy”, is placed from the left and right sides towards the central axis and forms several new squares or quadrangles. These new square or quadrangular surfaces in most cases are covered by a mesh of small squares in black, red or white. The background of the middle field is normally dark-navy blue or red.


The Ugah carpets derive their names from the village of Ugah not far away from Kuba. The composition of the center field consists of short length rapports and is covered by vegetal elements of only one shape. People call it “takhang” (“grape leaf”). It represents the main element of the carpet and is placed at the points of the intersections of the lines that mark the beginning and the center of the rapports, i.e. the lines, which form the grid of the squares. The more rapports are arranged lengthwise and crosswise, i.e. the larger the carpet size the lower the carpet’s artistic value. The origin of the border stripes motifs goes back to vegetal ornamental patterns, adopted from the patterns used in various fields of the decorative and applied arts. The center edge called by the carpet weavers “chichekli” can be also found in Karabakh carpets “Nelbeki-gul”. As to the colors, the background of this carpet is dark-brown or dark cobalt.


This carpet derives its name from the village of Yerfi. It also is produced in the villages of Nokhurduzu, Gayadally, Dark, Talysh, Hyrt, Garabulag. Some experts believe that this is the Shirvan carpet. The oldest craftsmen also refer to it as “Heymegah” (” a place for setting up a tent”). The elements of the center field of the Yerfi carpets are arranged along small vertical axes. The center field décor consists mainly of two principal elements of different shapes, each forming a separate horizontal line. The first row is formed by the elements of the “sachaglylar” group (fringed), which more often are encountered in the Shirvan carpet group. The second row features the elements called “chadyr”(“A tent”), which is considered to be the main gel (medallion) of the carpet. These elements are found in many Azerbaijani carpets and their origin dates back to the ancient times. They are woven in every third raw, while the main elements are woven in every second raw. The border ornamental patterns are largely composed of 3 stripes, including the center edge ketebe and smaller edge “chakhmaghy” typical to the Baku carpets and running along the sides of ketebe. This smaller edge can be identified in “The Family”, the painting by Lorenzo Loto, an Italian painter of the 16th century (1480-1556). The color of the border stripes varies depending on the color of the center field. An artistic analysis of the Yerfi carpet makes it possible to conclude that the composition of its center field is adopted mainly from the flat-weave rugs typical to the nomadic tribes.


The composition of the center field of the Gyryz carpet consists mainly of several large gels arranged along the central vertical axis. The gels in such carpets are of a “khoncha” or “tabag” shape, with rhomboid elements to the left and to the right. Craftsmen call these elements “gulli yaylyg”. In the center of the gels there is an element called “aypara” (“crescent”). It is believed to depict a wedding khoncha. Typical to the Gyryz carpets are the images of the pair of ear rings in between the gels, lined up images of birds and individual elements of various forms and shapes.


This carpet of the Kuba group of the Kuba-Shirvan type belongs to the village of Derechichi of the Kuba district. Similar carpets are made in the villages of Nabur, Shemakha, Alchiman, Shirvan, where they underwent local technological and artistic modifications. The composition of the center field is mainly filled by the “buta” elements only. These recurrent elements form rows lengthwise and crosswise. The border stripe consists of various width stripes, including “jag”, “medakhil”, “zenjire”. The ornamental pattern is stylized and stands out due to its high degree of thickness and exquisite decoration. The pliability of the design and emotional expressiveness of the form and color are intended to convey the joyous perception of life. The artistic effect is further intensified through rhythm, symmetry and a clearly expressed composition, all of them following a common harmony.


This carpet belongs to the village of Derechichi. The center field is filled by the “gul” elements only. These recurrent elements form rows lengthwise and crosswise. The border stripe consists of various width stripes, including “jag”, “medakhil”, “zenjire”.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia