About the Antique Rugs of the Future Project

Sheep Breeds of Azerbaijan

Sorting, Washing, Carding, Spinning

"The advantages of handspun yarn to machine spun yarn"

Rediscovery of Ancient Natural Dyes
Our Natural Dyestuffs


Difference between synthetically and naturally dyed rugs

Weaving and Finishing Steps

Galleries of ARFP Caucasian Azerbaijani Rugs

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Antique Derbend prayer rug / namazlyg with an unusual design, second half 19th century, 114 x 144 cm (3'9 x4'9")

The design of this rug is simple but charming, with a rustic and homespun feel to it. It is indeed surprising that such a design is not encountered more often. According to its Lefevre catalogue entry, the rug has 'a dense pile, in wool of excellent quality. It is in very good condition with original selvedges and braided ends. It is free of repair, except for a few sections of selvedges which have been rebound.' After the West 'discovered' Caucasian rugs around 1875, a thriving cottage industry developed to supply the export market. Most of these rugs followed predictable patterns and adhered to safe, popular designs. This rug, however, does not follow any of these established styles and it is likely that it would have been made for personal use or for local trade. Most rugs of this type would wear out without ever leaving home, and it has been estimated that the average lifespan of such a rug was around 30 years.


published Ralph Kaffel's Caucasian Prayer Rugs, plate 63
lit: published Ralph Kaffel's Caucasian Prayer Rugs, plate 63