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 "An Educational Guide to Antique Shirvan Marasali rugs & carpets" main page


Antique Shirvan Marasali (Maraza) prayer rug, Azerbaijan.

87 Mihrabi Maraza (so-called Marasali), 171 x 115 cm
End of the 19th century

The asymmetrical design of the namazlyk or janamaz (prayer rug) displays a mihrab (prayer niche) in the central field and five vertical strips. The white-ground middle strip passes underneath the niche. Around it, there are two further strips arranged symmetrically in terms of colour and ornament. Six different kinds of palmette surround diagonally arranged vines. The pal-mettes formed of double-botehs which face away from one another and have bird heads at their tips are particularly prominent.
The form of the heads can be found in the white botehs of the main border, where they embellish the fine, dark vine meander. L. Kerimov says that the folk name for this genre is zolagly which is to say "striped" or "with stripes".

Warps: Wool, Z3 S, light ivory.
Wefts: Cotton, Z2, white, 2 wefts: 1st tight, 2nd waved.
Pile: Wool, Z2; Camel hair, Z2, light brown, Pile Height: 4 mm.
Knots: Sy2, / ,45 degree, H 40, V38 = c. 1,280 Kn/dm2.
Handle: Velours, almost thin, ribbed.
Upper End: 0.5 cm white cotton simple tapestry weave.
Lower End: c. 1.5 cm Cotton + Wool flat-woven end of plain weave, warp-threads knotted in groups, between them warp-thread loops not cut. Sel: 0.5 cm white cotton shirazi around 2 ribs in figure-of-eight wrapping with supplemental threads.
Colours: 10; crimson, red, dark orange, yellow, light brown (camel hair), dark brown, blackish-brown (strongly oxidised), midnight-blue, blue, ivory. Remarks: This is a carpet of outstanding quality and good colours. Literature: L Kerimov IV, No 42, from the Museum for Azerbaijani Carpets and Applied Folk Art, Baku, No 1907.


published at Siyawouch Azadi "Azerbaijani Caucasian rugs", plate no: 87