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


back to antique Kuba Perepedil rugs




Antique Kuba Perepedil double niche rug, c. 1870, 98 x 222 cm, North East Azerbaijan. published at Ralph Kaffel's Caucasian Prayer Rugs as plate 50.

Perepedils were rather harshly treated by Nicolas Fokker in his book Caucasian Rugs of Yesterday, where he wrote, 'If you've seen one of these, you've seen the lot. All appear to have been made on a single model.' While this damning description may be appropriate for some late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century examples, it certainly does not describe the earlier pieces. The format of this rug, for instance, is quite eccentric, with prayer niches at either end. It has been suggested that this and similar examples were woven for export to the West, rather than for prayer. I would question this theory on two counts, however: only one other double-niche Perepedil is known to me (plate 49), and Western demand did not materialize until very late in the nineteenth century.

The earliest pieces, some of which date from the early nineteenth century, generally have a white ground as in this example, James Burns, in The Caucasus: Traditions in Weaving, illustrates a wonderful archaic ivory-ground rug - possibly a benchmark piece for this type—that he dates to the first third of the nineteenth century. Christine Klose has proposed that the Perepedil design has its roots in 17th and 18th century Azerbaijani silk embroideries, and places the type shown here as the fourth and final phase of the design's development.


Text and image from Ralph Kaffel's Caucasian Prayer Rugs.