Azerbaijan has for centuries been known as a center for a large variety of crafts. Archeological artifacts discovered in the territory of Azerbaijan shows a well developed agriculture, stock raising, metal working, and ceramics histories. One of the oldest traditions of the area is carpet-weaving dating as far back as to the 2nd millennium BC.
Carpet making began in rural huts and over time became among the most essential arts. The carpets knotted became highly valued by influential figures. The talented weavers were immortalized by poets and documenters of history.
Carpet weaving has always been closely connected with daily life in the area. Its role reflected in the meaning of the designs and their applications. Right down to, people seated on carpets in order to tell fortunes as well as used while singing the traditional songs of Novruz, which are the regional New Year’s celebrations. The carpet is widely used in the home for decoration. Special carpets are woven for medical treatments, as well as wedding ceremonies, birthing rituals, mourning loved ones and of course prayer.
The Azerbaijani carpet is traditionally handmade of various sizes. Typically they have a dense pile, but sometimes are pile-less. The patterns are very characteristic of Azerbaijan’s carpet-making. Carpet weaving is a family tradition very often transferred through stories and shown by example. Sheep are sheared in Spring and Autumn, while the collected wool is dyed in Spring, Summer and Fall. Construction of carpets is done during the winter months by the female family members, younger girls learning from their mothers and grandmothers. Carpets are constructed on either horizontal or vertical looms. Wools of many colors are incorporated, as well as cotton and/or silk colored with natural dyes. Using unique techniques to create pile carpets, weavers knot the pile yarn around the threads of the warp and weft. While pile-less carpets are variously made by weaving around the structural warps and wefts. When a carpet is finished it’s cutting off the loom is usually a solemn celebration.