Azerbaijan rugs are woven in Azerbaijan, a large region in the north west of Iran. This region has a long and rich tradition of weaving Persian rugs with seven distinct rug weaving regions – Tabriz, Shirvan, Qazakh, Quba, Genca, Qarabah and Baku. Each of these rugs weaving locations have their own unique colors, patterns and technology.
For Azerbaijan rug, The original color schemes and patterns have been carried down from one generation to another for centuries and it remains unchanged till today.
Weavers from each area use their own distinctive design and colors in their creations. They draw their inspirations from the local customs and traditions.
Carpet weaving is largely a family affair with each different family members playing different roles in the process. The men are usually responsible for shearing the sheep and collecting the wool. This is done during spring and fall. The women collect various materials found in nature to prepare various dyes.
Once the wool is collected, they dye it and spin the yarn so it is ready for the next process, which is weaving.
Carpet weaving is generally done over the cold winter months, where the whole extended family participating in this process.
The Azerbaijan Carpet Weavers
The art of weaving is passed down from one generation to the next. The girls in the family learn this traditional craft from an early age not through formal lessons but by helping their mothers, grandmothers, and other female relatives.
During the hours spent weaving together, the older family members pass on carpet-weaving tips, hints, and secrets verbally and by demonstrating the techniques practically.
This is a typical winter tradition in almost all tribal families in this region as all the female members spend the long cold months weaving their gorgeous carpets in between caring for children, cooking, and tending to their sheep.
The whole family takes great pride in the finished creation. Cutting the finished carpet from the loom is a task performed with great pride and reverence.
Fascinating Features of Azerbaijan Rugs
Azerbaijan rugs are known for their stunning designs and bright colors. There’s a reason weavers in this region favor richer, warmer colors in their rugs. It’s because these rich warm colors help add some brightness and warmth to their homes during the long cold winters.
What’s interesting to note is that the designs are not chosen randomly, neither do they use formal patterns. Older family members who have more experience with weaving pass down traditional patterns to the younger female relatives through songs and stories.
These traditional patterns are in fact closely connected with the family and the story they want to narrate. The youngsters then added their own personality into the rug through various symbols and motifs, resulting in an Azerbaijan rug that was both beautiful and unique.
Most rugs coming from this region are made from sheep or lamb wool. Silk is rarely used. one of the main reasons for this is because very little silk is produced in this region and procuring raw silk can be very expensive. There is only one region, called Sheki, that produces silk in the entire region.
With regards to the construction of the rugs, there are two types of Azerbaijan rugs – flat weave and pile weave. The two most popular of the flat weave rugs are “Soumak” and “Kilim”. Both are produced from sheep wool, however, the production process and patterns are completely different.
Some of the rugs produced in these regions are so intricately and delicately woven that many owners choose to use them as wall hangings. As you can see, the effect is absolutely stunning.
Weave And Pattern
Azerbaijan rugs are 100% hand made with no machines being used at any stage. Even the yarn that is used for weaving is hand-made.
These rugs are woven using both horizontal as well as vertical looms. The looms themselves are simple and designed in such a way that the warp can be rolled up in case the tribe needed to move. Most weavers tried to complete their rug before moving.
Weavers painstakingly tie each knot by hand. After it is done, they pack the warp densely using a special comb, which gives the rug its distinctive dense and warm characteristic of the rug is caused by a special comb that is used to pack the warp densely using a special comb.
Some of the more common colors that these rugs feature predominantly are red, blue, cream, green and yellow. Every region has its own distinctive patterns and color palettes that the weavers preferred to use in their creations.
You can tell which region each rug originates from just by looking at the patterns created as well as the colors that are used.
Typical Sizes Available
Azerbaijan rugs are available in a wide range of sizes. The larger sized rugs and runner rugs are particularly beautiful because weavers has more space to incorporate their fabulous patterns.
Typical sizes of Azerbaijan runner rugs are 2.7’ x 10’, 3.3’ x 12.9’, 3.8’ x 15.4’, 4.1’x13.10’.
Antique Azerbaijan rugs can be found in these sizes 4.4’x 12’, 4.6’ x 6.4’ and 4.8’ x 7.2’.