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 or Baku Prayer rug, Southern Kuba Region, North East Azerbaijan

nineteenth centurv

4'1" x 4'10" (124 x 147 cm) These design elements could have been used in many localities, from the Kuba district to the weaving villages of Shirvan, but the deeply depressed alternate warps suggest a northern origin.
Warp: wool 3 strands. Weft: wool 2 strands, 2 shoots. Pile: wool, 2 strands. Knot: symmetrical, alternate warps deeply depressed, h.12, v.14, 168 / in2 (h.48, v.56, 2688 / dm2). Edges: white cotton reinforced selvage over 4 warps for most of the rug.

published at Murray L Eiland Jr. & Murray Eiland III's "Oriental Rugs A Complete Guide". Plate no: 283

Rugs with a mihrab in the shape of a keyhole or a stylized 'head and shoulders' figure were woven throughout east Caucasia, with published examples from Baku, Kuba, Shirvan, Daghestan and Chichi. Unlike most Caucasian prayer rugs those in the 'keyhole' and 'head and shoulders' group do not have a separate gabled or squared prayer arch; instead, the mihrab floats on the field. This design principle is more closely related to the style of prayer rugs from Anatolia. The 'head' or prayer arch in these rugs is virtually identical in shape to the re-entrant arches of Anatolian 'Bellini-type' rugs of the fifteenth to eighteenth century. (These rugs are so called because of the paintings of Gentile Bellini. c.1429-1507, who depicted rugs with keyhole or re-entrant motifs) The more immediate influences are the later keyhole rugs from Bergama and Konya. A wide variety of borders is employed in this group of rugs, varying primarily by origin. Border patterns include a polychromatic slanted 'barber pole' (Baku), slanted bars-and-rosettes (Chichi), geometric guls with 'c' motifs (Kuba) and crab borders (usually Shirvan or Daghestan) as in the pieces shown here.