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 Sunburst Zeiwa rug published at Luciano Coen & Louise Duncan's "The Oriental Rug". (Northern Kuba or south of Derbend, North East Azerbaijan)

19th century, 5'8" X 4'6" [m. 1.76 X 1.40]
Warp: wool
Weft: wool, two shoots after each row of knots
Knotting: Ghiordes, wool, 90 knots per square inch [1450 per dm.2]

Because of its radial medallions, this rug is a typical Zeiwa product. They are similar to the Chelaberds— Eagle Kazaks, and Lesghi Stars. It is interesting to note that in an area where there is a definite aesthetic focus, like the Caucasus, so many close variations of the same design can be so distinct. The central medallion is primarily white, the other two red; many shades of madder have been used here, as well as blue, green, brown, and black.

In this design there are usually three or four radial medallions on the same rug. Although the colors are often dark, even somber, these medallions alternate red with white, saving the whole from being too dark. Green, which may be seen in the two end medallions, is rather unusual. The sprays decorating the edges are common to all Zeiwa medallions and distinguish them from others. Possibly they are vestigial peacock tails. They certainly serve as attractive decoration for what would otherwise be a dark piece.

This particular rug is beautifully decorated in the field: The stylized cloudbands and other ornaments are rather unusual and highly complementary to the whole. The large border has two lovely stripes of abrash in it.