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



Antique Kuba Karagashli rug, early 19th century,  Lowland Kuba Region, possibly Chay Karagashli village,  Devechi (Divichi) District, North East Azerbaijan

This rare Karagashli is one of the very few of this type that can be designated as a prayer rug with any
degree of confidence. Only five of the 2045 Caucasian prayer rugs in the research database are assigned to Karagashli. Here, the characteristic Karagashli bracket motifs form two unmistakable, stepped prayer niches, while in other pieces the motifs are employed primarily as non-directional decorative elements (see Hali 78, p.40, ad. for James F. Connell). The Victoria and Albert Museum in London started acquiring their collection of Caucasian rugs in 1878, and this rug was purchased soon after (in 1880), along with six other Caucasians. The rugs were purchased from the leading London carpet dealer, Vincent Robinson of Wigmore Street.


The multiple arch motif is extremely rare in Caucasian prayer rugs and is more often found in Anatolian weavings. As example is a group of prayer rugs from central Anatolia, attributed to Konya or Karapinar, which feature multiple stepped arch-like motifs in a vertical arrangement.

The rug is in wonderful condition for its age, as the technical analysis by Jackie Stanger, of the Victoria and Albert Museum, confirms:


Warp: brown and white wool; Z3S, 2 brown threads and one white; 14 threads per inch (55 per dm).

Weft: white cotton; Z4S; 2 shoots; average 11 knots per inch (av. 41 per dm)

Pile: wool; symmetrical knot; average 154 knots per sq. inch (av. 1128 per sq. dm)

Sides: 2 cords overcast with blue wool; white cotton has been used at the lower end

Colours: red, yellow, dark green, green, blue, dark blue, dark brown, cream (8).
Ends: lower incomplete 1/2 in plainweave with white cotton weft. evidence of a fringe with bands of off-set knotting. Upper; incomplete 1 in plainweave with white cotton followed by a narrow band blue wool weft, evidence of a fringe with off-set knotting. some restoration.


published at Ralph Kaffel's Caucasian Prayer Rugs. plate 52.