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
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Difference between synthetically and naturally dyed rugs

Weaving and Finishing Steps

Galleries of ARFP Caucasian Azerbaijani Rugs



Antique Baku prayer rug with Afshan gül motives, Azerbaijan.  Late 18th / early 19th century. 0.75 X 1.45m (2'5" X 4'9").

The blue field of this Avshan-pattern Kuba prayer rug is designed on a triple vertical axis. It contains most of the elements typical of the late eighteenth century floral carpets from the southern Caucasus attributed by Charles Grant Ellis to the Shusha area of Karabagh.

This is the only known prayer carpet to employ the earlier naturalistic rendering of the Avshan pattern; the three known analogous examples are drawn in a much more angular, geometric style with larger, right-angled leaves and stepped cruciform flowerheads. The pattern in the prayer arch is typical of Kuba rugs. The main border is also characteristic of prayer rugs from this area, employing a spacious, well-drawn version of the 'Kufic' border on a rich red ground. The flowering vine minor border is uncommon in east Caucasian rugs and is more frequently seen in south Caucasian pieces. It is also used as the main border in an early Avshan carpet published by Yetkin.

Published at Ralph Kaffel's Caucasian Prayer Rugs, plate 44