TODAY.AZ / Arts & Entertainment

Azerbaijani carpets: history illustrated in patterns

22 November 2017 [15:28] - TODAY.AZ

By Azernews

By Aygul Salmanova

The Azerbaijani carpets, famous not only for their characteristic design but also for their durability, amaze everyone with their extraordinary richness and variety of ornamental motifs.

Azerbaijani carpet, however, is more than just an item of beauty or a property for trade.  The carpet weaving sector annually creates a range of employment opportunities, brings currency to the budget and also spreads the traditional Azerbaijani art and culture in the world.

Construction of ten carpet producing facilities will start in Azerbaijan next year, the country’s Economy Minister Shahin Mustafayev said speaking at a plenary session of the Azerbaijani Parliament during discussion of the country’s draft state budget for 2018.

Mustafayev noted that in order to develop carpet weaving in Azerbaijan, the work continues to create new production facilities.

“These facilities have been already commissioned in Azerbaijan’s Horadiz and Shamkir regions, facilities in six regions are fully ready for operation, and in two more regions, the work will be completed before the end of the year,” he added.

He said that in order to create a raw material base of carpet weaving, it is planned to start construction of a spinning and dyeing factory in Sumgayit city, fur and dyestuff production facilities will be built in another five regions by the end of the year.

Azerbaijan is a country having an ancient tradition of carpet-weaving and makes huge efforts to develop the sector by establishing new plants and promoting carpets abroad.

The state-run Azerkhalcha Company was established under the presidential decree in May 2016 to achieve these goals and also organize export of valuable Azerbaijani carpets to the world markets. Overall, the company plans to open up 10 plants throughout the country in 2017 and 20 more until 2019. Over 5,000 people will be permanently employed at the plants and absolute majority of them will be women.

Carpet weaving is one of the oldest arts and crafts of the country. The data of archaeological research conducted on the territory of Azerbaijan and the monuments of literature testify that the art of carpet weaving originated in Azerbaijan in ancient times.

A feature of the Azerbaijani carpet ornament is the use of images of plant, zoomorphic, anthropomorphic and abstract geometric forms. Its distinct color palette and design allows to easily recognize Azerbaijani carpet. An unusual scheme of cherry red, yellow-green and sky blue adds color distinction to masterful draftsmanship of the Azerbaijani carpets. Its patterns differ depending on the region in which and the layout and material from which it is woven.

By geographical position, peculiarities of patterns, composition, color solution and technical features, Azerbaijani carpets are conditionally divided into 7 carpet-making schools: Guba, Baku or Absheron, Shirvan, Ganja, Gazakh, Karabakh, and Kabriz.

In 2010, the Azerbaijani carpet was proclaimed a Masterpiece of Intangible Heritage by UNESCO.

Ancient Azerbaijani carpets are stored at the White House, the U.S. State Department, and many other museums across the world, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, and the Museum of Art in Philadelphia, as well as the Victoria and Albert Museum in London and Hermitage in St. Petersburg.

Azerbaijan’s Carpet Museum established in Baku in 1967, being the first carpet museum in the world is the very place that can familiarize all the interested with the unique examples of the national carpets. A new carpet museum, designed in the form of a rolled carpet, opened in the Baku Seaside Park in 2014 and all carpets were transferred to this museum.


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