Azerbaijan rugs are woven in Azerbaijan, a small country in the Caucasus Mountains. This country has a long and rich tradition of weaving rugs with seven distinct rug weaving regions – Tabriz, Shirvan, Qazakh, Quba, Genca, Qarabah and Baku. Each of these regions has its own unique colors, patterns and technology that are typical of that particular region.
The original color schemes and patterns have been carried down from one generation to another for centuries and it remains unchanged till today.
Facts About Azerbaijan Rugs
Azerbaijan Rugs have carved an impressive reputation for themselves all over the world for their excellent quality and superior artistic value. When you own an Azerbaijan rug you know it will get passed down to several generations without losing any of its bright colors or its beautiful patterns.
In fact, if anything, you can consider this rug as a sure investment as they tend to increase in value. Old Azarbaijan rugs have been known to be valued at several times the original buying price.
An intriguing fact about Azerbaijan rugs is that the patterns on the rugs are not just randomly chosen and placed. Every rug tells a story. The Azerbaijan weavers who work on the rugs choose to tell their story through the patterns, the colors and the weaves of their creations.
Most of the patterns depict the simple, homely lives of the women weavers. Other common patterns represent symbols from ancient times as well as everyday items and things such as birds, flowers, grazing cattle or a flock of sheep, that the weavers would see as they went about their daily tasks.
The Azerbaijan Carpet Weavers
Azerbaijan carpets are woven in several different villages or small cities in the state of Azerbaijan.
These gorgeous carpets are a reflection of a way of life in these regions.
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 Art Of Weaving
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.
Cotton, wool and silk are the most commonly used materials. 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.
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.
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’.