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


An unusual Chichi carpet, southern Kuba region, last quarter of the 19th century, 3' 6" x 4' 5", Herati Gallery

Shirvan-Kuba Rug
Northeast Caucasus, Shirvan Region
Circa 1875

Description: Western rug literature has familiarized us with the 'infinite or endless repeat' field design.

The design, in its various mutations, is found over a broad geographical range of the rug weaving world.

Too often, the design is nothing more than a single field motif repeated over and over again vertically, horizontally or, on occasion, diagonally.

Not surprisingly, many find the result to be simply mundane and boring.

Most weavers who attempt the design do not understand how to create the Allusion of Infinity.

In the example presented here we have a weaver who either had a good understanding of what she was doing or was very lucky.

The historical record shall, unfortunately, forever remain silent on that question.

The Allusion of Infinity is achieved by employing a number of clearly identifiable techniques.

A successful rendering of the ‘endless or infinite repeat’ design is achieved by the skillful use of size, space and color.

The border must be wide in relation to the field.

The dimensions of the main and secondary border must, in total, match and preferably exceed those of the field.

Usually, one sees a border composition that is assertive, structured and quite formal. This is in marked contrast to that of the field.

The tonality of the border must carefully harmonize with that of the field but there must be a slight visual tension between the two.

The manner in which repeating elements of the field design is created is most critical to the success or failure of the design.

The field motifs, whatever they may be, must be distinctly smaller than the dominant border motifs.

These motifs must be distributed across the field in a random, almost whimsical fashion.

If there is structure and predictability in the field, the visual impact is lost.

Spontaneity and unpredictability also applies to the distribution of color within the field.

The extent to which each of these elements is lacking is the degree to which the Allusion of Infinite is lost.
Condition: The condition of the rug is very good. In the tradition of the region the pile is close-cut but full with no areas of wear or damage. There are scattered, small areas of high-quality repair.

Structure Warps: Wool, natural light brown. There is moderate warp displacement.

Wefts: Wool, natural light brown.

Knots: Symmetrical

Sides: Not original. The foundation warps have been bundled into two cords. These cords have been rewrapped with wool.

Ends: The ends are slightly reduced with little loss of pile. The ends have been stabilized.

Price $5,500.00

Personal Post Script: I needed to live with this rug for awhile to realize that it is really quite special.
There is the skillful rendering of the infinite repeat field design.

But there is more; and it took me some time before I realized what it was.

At dusk, under soft light the rug had a calming effect. It was mellow. I recognized this was due, in part, to the patina giving the natural dyes a certain depth and character.

Then, I saw that the rug did not have any indigo (dark) blue, only light and mid-range blues. How many Caucasian rugs do you see with no indigo? Not many!!

The absence of indigo combined with the softness of the other colors resulted in something unique.

Finally, the slight irregularities in the weave show that the rug was the creation of the weaver’s imagination, not the cartoon based commercial product of village workshop. (these are seen in the rendering of the eight-pointed stars).