About the Antique Rugs of the Future Project

Sheep Breeds of Azerbaijan

Shearing,
Sorting, Washing, Carding, Spinning

"The advantages of handspun yarn to machine spun yarn"

Rediscovery of Ancient Natural Dyes
Our Natural Dyestuffs

Mordants

Difference between synthetically and naturally dyed rugs

Weaving and Finishing Steps

Galleries of ARFP Caucasian Azerbaijani Rugs

 


 

Antique Kuba Dragon flatweave rug, 19th century, Northern Kuba Region, North East Azerbaijan


78. SOUMAK
mid-19th century, 10'8" X 7'9" [m. 3-30 x 2.40]
Warp; wool
Weft: wool, one shoot after each row of knots
Knotting: Soumak, flat weave, wool

This rug is a Rolls-Royce among Soumaks. The design is one of a kind and as elliptical as it is beautiful. Loosely speaking, the diagonal construction and all-over quality of the design indicate that it is a dragon rug. The field, rather than being filled with dragons, is decorated by stylized flowers, Chinese-derived latticework, and endless knots, hooks, arrows, trees, and a few vestigial peacock tails. When one takes a good look, it becomes evident that the rug is not woven in an all-over patternójust when the diagonal bands should repeat themselves, they stop. The field is brick red, the designs primarily blue, white, and yellow.

The octagons characteristic of Soumaks are seen in the wide border. The design in the middle of the rug could be seen as a family shield. The tiny S's in the field are a stylization of the Chinese cloudband, and indeed certain parts are very like the cloudband motif. The central yellow borders make a good contrast to the terra cotta of the field. When one compares it with the one in Plate 77, it is easy to see the individuality and imagination that make this rug so distinctive.

 

published at Luciano Coen & Louise Duncan's The Oriental Rug
Lit: Luciano Coen & Louise Duncan's The Oriental Rug, plate 78