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 Pictorial rugs" main page


Antique Shirvan Pictorial rug, Shirvan Region, Azerbaijan. New England Rug Society

SIZE: 69 1/4 x 46 1/4 in. (175.9 x 117.5 cm.)
WARP: wool, Z3S; ivory
WEFT: wool, z2s x 2; ivory, gray, brown
PILE: wool, Z2S, symmetrical knots straight or pulled to the right, h. 9, v. 8, 72 k/sq. in.; ivory, dark brown, red-brown, red (abrash), light red, yellow, gold, green, light green, dark blue (abrash), blue, light blue, light purple, blue-black, several colors plied together
ENDS:top: 3 rows of blue wool countered sumak; bottom: 4 rows of blue wool countered sumak; off-set knotted warp fringe
SIDES: cut, modern cord attached


Eastern Caucasus Pictorial Rug, 2nd half of the 19th century

The paucity of information available to Western rug scholars about Caucasian folk traditions hampers any interpretation of what this rug depicts. Perhaps it commemorates a wedding, with the bride and groom appearing as the smaller female and male figures at the lower left. Careful comparison of the upper figures, three couples and three horsemen, with their counterparts below reveals consistent differences: the horsemen sport dissimilar saddle blankets and hold unlike items falcons at the bottom and small implements that may be knives at the top -and the women wear their white scarves differently. Possibly this denotes a gathering of two separate tribal groups

The precise drawing and painstaking use of 14 colors suggest that the weaver took great care in the planning and execution of the rug.