Oriental rugs luster floor
During the last third of the nineteenth century, there was an unprecedented interest in oriental rugs on the part of art historians, collectors, and consumers, in Europe and perhaps especially in Germany and Austria, where since 1891 the World's Fairs had been devoted exclusively to oriental rugs, and oriental rugs, which were Formerly a warming piece, then a luxury piece used for purposes of diplomatic representation in a royal and aristocratic context, gradually and simultaneously it became a standard item of the bourgeois interior and a museum piece elevated to the status of a decorative piece.
What made oriental carpets a piece of pride for kings, princes and nobles, and an artistic element that adorns the most luxurious palaces and ruling courts in Europe and the world? And a decorative piece that rich carpet collectors rush to harvest, and major museums to host in their corridors..
We will discover all that and more in this article.
What is oriental carpet?
Oriental carpet is a fabric made for a variety of utilitarian and symbolic purposes and produced in “eastern countries” for home use, local sale and export. This type of carpet is often woven by hand, using wool, cotton and silk, and derives its colors from natural and animal dyes, and this is one of the most important reasons for its popularity. Globalism.
Oriental carpets originated in an area referred to as the "rug belt", which extends from Morocco through North Africa and the Middle East to Central Asia and northern India, and includes countries such as northern China, Tibet, Turkey, Iran, the Maghreb countries in the west, the Caucasus in the north, India and Pakistan in the south. Oriental rugs were also made in South Africa from the early 1980s to mid 1990s in the village of Ealing near Queenstown.
People of different cultures, countries, ethnic groups and religious beliefs are involved in the production of oriental rugs, and since many of these countries are located in the area of the Islamic world, oriental rugs are often also called "Islamic rugs". 1
History of oriental carpets
The history of oriental carpets begins with the discovery of the Pazyryk rug in the wild and mountainous Altai region, which indicates that Persia was probably the cradle of the first knotted rug. The history of this rug dates back 2,500 years, and the rugs had reached an unparalleled degree of perfection over the centuries. Oriental craftsmen became among the first carpet weavers in history, and the know-how in the manufacture of oriental carpets was passed down through generations from grandparents to children as a well-preserved family heirloom. From the cold and damp, before the carpets were used by the new owners: kings, aristocrats and the rich who considered them a sign of wealth, prestige and distinction.
Characteristics of oriental carpets
After gaining great fame, oriental carpets are no longer necessarily what came from oriental countries, but each carpet bears the characteristics, patterns, and designs of oriental carpets, which can be called oriental carpets.
Authentic oriental carpets have a distinctive feature that no machine can imitate, as the weaver connects the pile to the core threads with special types of knots that can only be made by hand, while in machine-made carpets, the pile is simply stuck between the weft threads and the staple threads.
Another characteristic of the oriental rug is that it is always woven from natural raw materials that come from nature. The typical original oriental rug is made of high-quality sheep’s wool, cotton, and luxurious silk carpets were sometimes woven for kings and aristocracy, and it is likely that you will encounter many versions Made from different types of synthetic materials, from polyolefin and polypropylene to a few different synthetic blends, they may look good looking but they are definitely not the original handwoven oriental rugs.
Oriental rugs are often described as works of art and with good reason, these rugs are great works of art, highly appreciated over time, and throughout history these rugs have held a great value that is constantly increasing with the passage of time, the older the rug, the more likely it is to be worth it.
Oriental carpets in Renaissance paintings
Carpets were used as a decorative feature in Western Europe and paintings from the fourteenth century. More attempts to depict oriental carpets in Renaissance paintings have survived with these paintings than contemporary carpets. Very few Middle Eastern rugs were produced before the seventeenth century, but their number increased. In recent years, for this reason, comparative art history research has relied, since its beginnings in the late nineteenth century, on the carpets depicted in European dated Renaissance paintings.
The popularity of oriental carpets in Europe in the fourteenth century was reflected in the works of artists and painters at that time, which was later called the paintings of oriental carpets in the Renaissance era, and these paintings were the main source for studies on early carpets, and many groups of oriental carpets were called, or Islamic carpets are named after the European painters who depicted them: Lotto, Holbein, Ghirlandaio, Crivelli, and Memling are among these, and artists' names are now used to describe certain groups of carpets woven in Turkey.
Domenico Ghirlandaio was born on June 2, 1448 in Florence and died of the plague on January 11, 1494 in Florence, painter of the Florentine school, part of the so-called "third generation" of the Florentine Renaissance, Ghirlandaio rugs are named after this Italian Renaissance artist, which is shown in His paintings of these sometimes distinctive carpets display the typical "Ghirlandaio" design of a central octagonal medallion inscribed within a square whose sides show curvilinear designs, forming an all-around diamond shape.
Carpets in the paintings of Lorenzo Lotto
The name "lotto rug" refers to the inclusion of carpets in this pattern in paintings by the 16th century Venetian painter Lorenzo Lotto. It is named after a famous altarpiece by the Italian Renaissance painter Lotto, which depicts a similar rug. Early examples of Lotto rugs show a border like the one shown here. It is thought to derive from a straight form of Arabic calligraphy known as Kufic. This type of overlapping border is a feature of many Old Turkish carpets.
is a famous Turkish hand-carved carpet produced primarily during the 16th and 17th centuries along the Aegean coast of Anatolia, although it was also copied in various parts of Europe, featuring filigree arabesque motifs, usually yellow on a red ground, often With blue details, the name "Lotto rug" refers to the inclusion of rugs in this pattern in paintings by the 16th-century Venetian painter Lorenzo Lotto, although it appears in many ancient oriental rugs in Renaissance paintings. 1
Carpet vendor board
This famous painting by Jean-Leon Jerome, the French painter and sculptor, which he painted in 1887, is among the paintings he painted as an expression of his observations during his travels in the Middle East and Africa. He is negotiating with a group of buyers who are listening intently, and around them is a group of luxurious and bright carpets, while in the background another group is suspended on one of the buildings above, where the carpets on display hang.
Oriental carpets add a touch of oriental flair to any space thanks to their rich, deep colors, distinctive patterns, and hand-woven textures. Many countries located in the eastern corridor have shared the honor of having their carpets belong to the group of oriental carpets, including Persian carpets, Turkish carpets, Armenian carpets, and others. The following are the most important The most famous types of oriental carpets in the world throughout the ages:
Iran (the Islamic Republic of Iran) is located in western Asia, historically called Persia, bordered to the north by the Caspian Sea, to the southeast by the Gulf of Oman and to the south by the Persian Gulf, Iran shares borders with Turkmenistan to the northeast, Afghanistan to the east, and Pakistan to the south east, and Iraq to the west, and Turkey, Armenia and Azerbaijan to the northwest, a country known for its rich cultural diversity.
History of Persian Carpets
Over the years, Persian rugs became increasingly attractive to kings and nobles, who considered them a sign of wealth, importance, and a family heirloom. Nowadays, in palaces and museums around the world, owning a Persian rug is one of the most valuable works of art a person can own. Weavers used the same methods. The ancient tradition of hand weaving over the centuries to make sure that the rugs stand the test of time.
The history of carpets in Persia dates back nearly 2,500 years, and despite scholars’ disagreements about the oldest carpet, many believe that the Pazyryk carpet is the oldest carpet in the world. It is the first Persian carpet, dating back to the Achaemenid period. This carpet was discovered in 1949 in the The second from the excavations of the Russian archaeologist Rudenko in the Pazyryk region, and it was estimated that the carpet dates back to the fifth century or the beginning of the fourth century BC.
The Persian carpet industry began to establish its foundations in the world of art during the era of the Sasanian Empire (226-651), when the establishment of caravan routes, the abundance of means of transportation, and the establishment of stations led to the expansion of various products such as the glass industry, the manufacture of metal tools, and woolen and silk textiles, especially the carpet industry. Artworks of the Sasanian Era The Baharistan Carpet, this carpet was 140 meters long and 27 meters wide and was located in the portico of a palace.
Carpet weaving continued in Iran during the rule of the Umayyad and Abbasid caliphs, and the influence of Islamic culture in Iran caused the design used in carpets to change to geometric and floral patterns. During the eleventh century, the Seljuk tribes invaded Iran, and during this period, Persian carpet weaving appeared to be influenced by the Turkish style. Despite this, even after the end of Seljuk rule, their carpet-weaving methods remained in Turkic-speaking regions such as Tabriz.
During the rule of the Mughals (thirteenth and fourteenth centuries AD), Persian carpet weaving reached a very high level of beauty and technique, and the flourishing of this industry probably coincided with the rule of Ghazan Khan (1307-1295 AD). However, the heyday of the classical Persian carpet, which is known as The renaissance of Persian carpets, during the Safavid dynasty (1499-1722 AD).
Persian carpets knew the height of their brilliance in the Safavid era, especially during the reign of Shah Tahmasab I (1524-1587 AD) and Shah Abbas the Great (1587-1629 AD). During this period, carpet weaving changed from a rural profession to an important job and profession in urban workshops. Perhaps the most important history of the carpet industry in Iran is related to the period of the Safavid rulers (1722-1499), in fact, the strongest evidence that this art and craft dates back to this period, is that there are nearly 3,000 works preserved in museums and private collections around the world dating back to carpets Made in the Safavid era.
In Persia, in this period during the reign of Shah Abbas (1571-1629), trade and art flourished, and Shah Abbas encouraged people to contact and exchange with Europe and made his capital, Isfahan, one of the most luxurious and largest cities in Iran, and he also built a large carpet workshop where artists worked on Weaving the best and most beautiful models of carpets, and most of these carpets were woven from silk with golden and silver threads decorating them, and carpet weaving workshops were established next to the palaces of kings and various centers that previously existed in Tabriz, Kashan, Mashhad, Kerman, Joshghan, Yazd, Astrabad, Herat, and the northern states such as Shirvan, Karabakh and Gilan, and the industry became more Sophisticated and prosperous, meanwhile, high-level designers introduced brief designs and a mix of unique designs, that is, the same design that was used in the most beautiful way in the fifteenth century on the covers of valuable books.
If we go back to history, we can see that the Iranian carpet and textile industry was part of the plan of Shah Abbas (1629-1587 AD) to boost the economy and attract European merchants to the country, he moved the merchants and silk weavers to the capital at that time, Isfahan, and signed trade treaties with Spain And England and France, and among the carpets that were exported abroad at this time, the most popular type was (Polonaise), and there are more than 300 pieces preserved in foreign collections.
after the Safavid period
The end of the Safavid era began with the six-month siege of Isfahan, the capital of the Safavid dynasty in Iran, by the Afghan army led by Hotaki, which began from March to October 1722 and resulted in the fall of the city and the beginning of the end of the Safavid dynasty. Carpet workshops in Persia after this siege and the Afghan takeover of the Safavid Empire, where the Persian leaders were preoccupied with the war, and no carpet was woven of any value, and only the Bedouins and some artists of this industry in small towns continued to work on this tradition.
In the last quarter of the nineteenth century and during the Qajar rulers, the carpet industry flourished again by sending it to Europe (from Tabriz to Istanbul), and at the end of the nineteenth century, the high demand for Persian carpets and their successful trade caused the emergence of a large number of foreign companies from countries encouraging Investing in Persian carpets and producing them in large quantities, such as England, America, Switzerland and Greece, and some of the most important and luxurious types of carpets in Iran were woven in cities such as Kerman, Arak, Hamedan, Tabriz and Mashhad by these companies, which sent this art and craft to the markets of their country.
Persian carpets, especially the fine carpets of the Tabriz region, made their way to Europe, and from European countries, representatives were sent to all the countries of the Middle East, and foreign firms continued to run workshops in Tabriz, Sultanabad (Arak) and Kerman indefinitely, and this industry continued Until World War I, when carpet production increased dramatically.
In 1935, Reza Shah founded the Persian Carpet Company, and as a result of this action, the export of carpets came under the control of the government. During this period, the design and style of carpets did not change much, but the export of carpets to all parts of the world flourished, and Iran became one of the largest carpet exporters in the world. The world, as Persian carpets are exported to more than 32 countries and constitute a large part of the non-oil national income. The main target markets for this product are Germany, America and Italy.
The income from carpet exports in 2019 amounted to more than $73 million. Despite this, the export of this product has decreased significantly due to the sanctions imposed on Iran. Even today, carpet weaving is still one of the most widespread handicrafts in Iran, and Persian carpets are enjoyed today. It has a special reputation and prestige because of the originality of its colors and materials, and its variety and different patterns.
Characteristics of Persian carpets
Persian carpets are a 100% handmade product and, as elsewhere in Iran, there are two different types of carpets:
* Urban pattern (Tabriz, Ahar, Ardabil, Meshkin, Shar, Sarab, Mianeh).
* Rural style (Belverde, Heriz, Mehriban, Garach, Goravan, Pachayash).
The Persian carpet was distinguished from other carpets by its original colors, and the colors of the carpets reached a level of brilliance and diversity thanks to the use of natural plants and the skill of the master dyers. The fiber reaches a stable color during dyeing and the degree of fastness is also high. (To learn more about carpet dyes, we invite you to read this article: Handmade Carpet Dyes: A Colorful World)
During the Safavid era, a workshop was developed to weave large carpets, which were ordered by the court to be used in palaces, or to be presented as gifts to foreign countries. The existence of natural dyes and the use of skilled dyers and local dyeing workshops were inseparable from the weaving of cloth and carpets. To the dyed yarn, the chemical dyes produced not long ago entered the dyeing workshops.
Looking at the carpets that are produced in different cities of Iran reminds us that the carpets in each city are different from another city, but at the same time, they will have similarities, and the differences are related to the different lifestyles of each city, weather and climate, culture and customs, etc. The similarities relate to the same history, the same beliefs, religion, rituals, etc., and the differences are generally related to the difference in the type of weaving, the knot, the pattern, the design, the type of warp and weft thread, and especially the type of thread, the latter being so specialized that even if the same pattern is woven on two different masters, We may end up with two different rugs despite having the same pattern and fibers, which is why each rug has a special feature and despite all the similarities, it has a different impact on the environment and people.
In general, the same characteristics of Persian carpets can be listed as follows All types of Persian carpets must have twelve rows of knots in one corner knot In terms of texture quality, the Persian carpet is characterized by the use of natural materials (wool, silk, and cotton), in natural fibers, Like the wool from the back of the sheep that has just been sheared, it is used without any additives, because the additives shorten the life of the fibers, and it is very important to use sheep wool that has been grown in the mountainous area and pastures, because this problem will affect the quality of the wool and the fibers.
Some of the most famous Persian carpets
Despite its fame and thousands of years of age, few people still can guess where the carpet was woven or know its valuable features, while upon completion of weaving a Persian carpet, its birth certificate is issued, which carries all its information, here are the most important and famous Persian carpets according to cities :
Tabriz carpet Tabriz has been an important trading center since the 9th century, a thriving city, and has been recognized since the 15th century for its handmade carpets in multiple styles. The most important motifs used in Tabriz carpets are: floral arrangements, the four-winged central medallion; Figurative motifs, historical scenes, religious scenes, European and oriental landscapes.
Turkmen rug : This rug was in the possession of San Marco, and 4 other rugs were brought to Venice in 1622, as well as three silk rugs woven by the Iranians in 1636.
Khorasan carpet : Khorasan carpets are woven in the style of Mashhad carpets and are among the best Khorasan products, but since their production is very small, very little is sent to the market, the size of the modern carpet is 8 square meters, the color of the carpet is consistent and often dark.
Mashhad carpets : Mashhad carpets are woven in the workshops of this city and its surroundings, and this carpet is of great quality and usually goes to the markets of the West and England. The carpet weaving in Mashhad is about five centuries old. One of the oldest carpets found in Mashhad is the prayer carpet (sajada) that was gifted by Shah Tahmasab To Suleiman the Magnificent in 1556 AD.
Zanjan Carpet: Carpet weaving in Zanjan is one of the oldest industries that plays an important role in exporting Iranian carpets, and the history of carpet weaving can be traced back to the beginning of the construction of this city, that is, long ago. European due to its beautiful design and color.
Shiraz and Nereiz carpets : This area contains carpets of different quality and bright colors. Dark colors are one of the special features of Afshari carpets. Various ornamental plants are used individually and repeatedly. The weft structure is made of linen.
Burgundy Carpet : The carpets in this area are woven in double knots and four strands, the large Burgundy carpets of up to 20 square metres, are woven using the colors orange, red, yellow and blue and this carpet does not last long.
Turkey is a transcontinental country located on the borders of Asia and Europe, bordered by Greece and Bulgaria to the west and northwest, Georgia and Armenia to the east and northeast, Azerbaijan and Iran to the east, Iraq (Kurdistan Regional Government) and Syria to the east and southeast, and bordered by the Black Sea to the north and west The Aegean Sea and from the southwest the eastern part of the Mediterranean Sea.
Turkish carpets or Anatolian carpets are carpets made in Turkey, and the oldest handmade Turkish carpets date back to the thirteenth century, and they were discovered in a city that is still very active in the production of carpets, which is the city of Konya, and Turkish carpets are often compared to Persian carpets, and the peculiarity of the carpets lies Turkish in the type of knot used in making carpets, that is, the Turkish knot or the Gordian knot, which is thicker, and made of wool, cotton, and silk.
History of Turkish Carpets
Turkish carpets are most famous in the West; Many Europeans prefer it over Persian carpets, which they consider too heavy. The knitting technique may have been introduced in Anatolia as early as the 11th century. In the 13th and 14th centuries, Konya, the capital of the Seljuks, was already a famous center for weaving. With the arrival of the Ottomans, patterns in Turkish carpets are exclusively geometric.
The art of Turkish carpets in Anatolia showed a regular and continuous development from the thirteenth century to the nineteenth century, and new types of carpets appeared in each development, and the first major link in this development chain was the carpets in the Anatolian Seljuk era, and the Anatolian Seljuk carpets formed a solid foundation in terms of technique Color, design and installation.
The history of Turkish carpets began with the semi-nomadic populations of the Seljuks and the Ottomans, who were often distinguished by strength and cultural diversity. Carpet weaving and kilim weaving techniques were introduced to Anatolia. In the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, Ottoman carpets reached their peak and became an export product to the West and China. Among the main textile centers of Turkey are: Istanbul, Bursa, Pergamum, which produces the famous carpets painted by Holbein, and Ushak.
After that, and especially from the eighteenth century, production developed in other important centers such as Kayseri, Kircher, Sivas, Milas, and Herki, and in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, the use of Persian carpets spread in Western interiors, where they replaced Turkish carpets.
Turkish carpets are mainly distinguished from Persian carpets by their simpler and more abstract patterns, by the aesthetic use of geometric patterns at the expense of floral, animal and even human representations found on Persian carpets, and even plant and floral representations were generally stylized and geometric in Turkish carpets, and carpets were influenced by Turkish is largely associated with Greek designers.
Characteristics of Turkish carpets
Turkish carpets are considered a special brand with unique features that make the product unusual, characterized by high quality, durability and longevity, which are among the most important factors in the popularity of Turkish carpets, and Turkish carpets are also known in terms of texture quality, and some other unique features, such as the background color, are associated with Shining, bright colors and liveliness.
In this context, it can be mentioned that light background color along with light colored designs are the most well-known features of Turkish rugs. At first, we might think that bright design and background is only suitable for living room or quiet places with little traffic, but with understanding Correct for the fibers and quality of Turkish rugs, we can understand that this is not the case, because Turkish rugs are durable and easy to maintain, as well as easy to clean.
Among other features, lack of fluff (suitable for children and people with breathing problems), suitable weight (easy to transport and easy to handle) and easy maintenance are other unique features of this attractive product. Turkish carpets can be purchased in the market in two grades, first and second. , which is determined on the basis of comb and density, and in terms of the type of texture and design available, it is suitable for most customers and with the diversity of products, Turkish carpets over the years have been able to respond to most tastes.
The bright background color of the Turkish carpet at first glance can make you cancel the idea of buying because the first impression is the fear of dirt and stains, but it is interesting to know that the material of the product is completely resistant to stains and stains fade, in addition to many features that made the Turkish carpet one of the finest types of carpets.
Nearly seven thousand years ago, Europeans, knowing oriental carpets, began to import them, and with Turkey's superiority over other exporters, it was able to satisfy Europeans' taste for the softness and splendor of carpets. In this way, when Persian carpets were not available to everyone, Turkish carpets emerged as a luxury commodity in The homes of European nobility, however, from the beginning until now, the designs used in Turkish carpets were vague compared to Persian carpets, and there was less accuracy in choosing color, and some believe that the invasions and wars that occurred in Turkey before had a great influence on the creation of geometric patterns Incomprehensible In addition to the influence of the designs of the desert tribes, some believe that religious beliefs have an influence on these designs as well, and others explain in this way that the use of an ancient symbolic system caused the creation of such designs.
Among the rare examples of Turkish carpet art in the nineteenth century is the "Marby carpet". This carpet is divided into two parts in the middle, and two birds stand on either side of the tree inside the octagons in each section. A similar carpet is found in the Stockholm Museum, and in the Konya Museum as well.
The most famous type of Turkish carpet
The Herc region is the most famous in Turkey in terms of carpet making, and a factory was established around 1843 to make silk carpets for the upper class of society at that time (sultans, viziers, pashas, etc.), carpets from this region are world famous for their finesse, in fact, the yarns used Silk sometimes with gold and silver threads to add more luxury to the carpet but, even with wool as raw material, Herky factory is able to offer a high quality product, however, Herky carpet is not the only type in terms of quality, which is produced by other regions of Turkey, as there are other types and it is also part of the rich Turkish culture.
The Turkish prayer rug industry aims to allocate a suitable and clean piece for prayer, so prayer rugs in particular attracted great attention and craftsmanship in decoration and decoration until it occupied a prominent place among all Islamic masterpieces, and the Turkish prayer rug is divided into two types:
Small prayer rug, used for individual performance of prayers, of small size, and this type is characterized by containing only one mihrab, which is a semicircular mihrab with pointed sides, and a field decorated with a hanging lamp, and the mihrab indicates the qiblah towards the Kaaba, and the second type is the large prayer rug, and this type is distinguished With its large and long size, and with more frequent depictions of the mihrab each time, this type can be used by several individuals, especially in mosque furnishings.
Usak city carpet
Ushak is one of the famous Turkish cities for making carpets. The Ushak carpet is small in size and tends to be square in shape. It is characterized by a narrow weave and a large number of decorative elements. Its decorations include a mihrab in the form of a three-lobed knot.
At the beginning of the twelfth century AH, the weavers of the city of Ushak showed a radical change in the design of the carpets, and they liberated themselves from the original style that characterized the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries AD. From the decoration, arabesque motifs adorn the two corners of the arch, but with less precision in the drawing.
It is a landlocked country located in the Lesser Caucasus region, western Asia, and this country was among the countries of the former Soviet Union, Armenia is located in land borders with Turkey to the west, Georgia to the northwest, Azerbaijan to the east and Iran to the southeast, although Armenia is located Geographically on the continent of Asia, but it is considered culturally, historically and politically part of Europe, and even geographically, on its edge, and the country is also considered the cradle of Christianity and Indo-European civilizations, where it played a historical role in spreading them, and Armenia is distinguished by its rich cultural heritage and is the heir to the oldest civilizations in the world "Urartu Its territory is one-tenth of historical Armenia.
What are Armenian carpets?
Armenian carpets are knotted carpets woven by Armenians who lived in the Armenian Highlands, and like other peoples, Armenians used carpets from ancient times as floor mats, to decorate walls, beds and tables, and carpets were also used to decorate church altars, and with the development of life, carpets became a necessity for every Armenian family .
Many people travel to Armenia just to buy Armenian rugs or carpet, you can also find traditional carpets abroad, but the choice in Armenia is wider, carpets are an integral part of Armenian culture, every carpet has a story, every symbol, ornament and even its origin has a meaning behind it, so When purchasing, you may discover that behind the carpet is a story and a detailed explanation of each symbol, because the Armenians believe that the carpet will not only decorate the floor in your home, but will also be present in your decor as a work of art with its ideology and story.
In the past and present, traditional Armenian carpets were made of high-quality wool and dyed with natural colors. Although there are similar elements that unite all Armenian carpets, each region and province has its own unique style, motifs and design, and you cannot find two handmade carpets that are exactly the same, although Although they look alike, each rug is unique.
History of Armenian Carpets
Historical sources mention that the Armenians began weaving and using carpets in the pre-Christian period (up to 301 years) and until now, and the oldest mention of Armenian carpets was by the great historian Ibn Khaldun, who cited them for the years 775 to 786 on top of the royalties paid by Armenia in kind to the successors Baghdad as an annual tribute. According to the tenth-century Arab traveler Ibn Hawqal, the capital of Armenia at that time, Dvin, was a center for the production of luxurious carpets. According to another source, the Tarikh Abu Awn explains that the word Kali (pronounced “empty”), which Means “carpets” throughout the Islamic world originated from the name of the Armenian city of Karen (Erzurum) known for its handicrafts and especially for its carpets, and finally, to talk about carpets in the twelfth century, Marco Polo described in his travels the carpets of Armenia as the most beautiful in the world.
In the year 813, the king of the Bulgarians, during their incursion into the Byzantine lands, took captive the inhabitants of Adrianople, among them the Armenians, and the Armenian carpets were mentioned in the first place among the spoils that the Bulgarians won, and the source that referred to this described these carpets as knotted carpets, and it was It was similar to the description mentioned by Ibn Khaldun.
The oldest fully preserved classical Armenian carpet is an arched carpet dating back to 1202. It was woven in the historical village of Banants Gardman, Utik district, in the Gandzak region. On the carpet there is a mihrab with three edges identical to those found repeatedly in Armenian miniatures in Armenian manuscripts of The Middle Ages, the bases of the columns represent palm trees that embody the tree of life, and above the capitals of the two columns there are crosses, vases, and then birds resembling pigeons, which, according to art historian Kimurdjian, symbolize the vessels in which the fruits of the myrrh tree are preserved. The carpet has three distinctive belts, the wide outer belt is bordered Of four rose petals with garlands, on the belt are traditional stylized lily patterns, and on the narrow belt there is a pattern.
Characteristics of Armenian carpets
Armenian carpets are characterized by divisions decorated alternately with animal or plant motifs, which can be compared to those found in Sassanid silk, as they are found on Armenian fabrics, in the tenth, eleventh and thirteenth centuries, and in the middle of the eleventh century, the same miniature was found in the Armenian Patriarchate in Jerusalem A copy of a carpet hanging from the middle of the diwan circle on which the royal family sits in an oriental style. The pattern of this carpet is similar to that of the royal cloth, as it contains large dotted circles, decorated with an elephant, leaving a certain distance between them, decorated with floral motifs.
The collection of dragon carpets is considered one of the oldest types of carpets produced by Armenians. This expression (vichapagorg) in Armenian originates from the word vichap, an ancient word meaning "dragon", and the word gorg "carpet". Currently only a few copies are kept in museums in Berlin and London. Vienna and Budapest are carpets of the Armenian dragon.
The originality of the vichapagorg carpets has always attracted the attention of researchers who did not fail to determine its origin, because it has a clear relationship with Central Asian carpets in terms of decoration, and according to Sakisan, a senior specialist in the field of oriental carpets, it is possible to identify motifs of Chinese and Byzantine origin, among the elements constituting the decoration of the oldest carpet motifs in Armenia, according to his research, the winged dragon and the stylized lotus flower, a Buddhist symbol, could have arrived from China to Armenia at the time of the Tatar invasion, at the end of the thirteenth century and the beginning of the fourteenth century, and in fact , the representation of the lotus flower is still qualified today by Armenian craftsmen.
Armenian carpet historian Nona Stepanian notes: “The convergence of these different elements was only achieved in Armenian art, through the analysis of the most recent carpets, from the end of the eighteenth century and the beginning of the nineteenth century, and in the light of the study of Armenian miniatures, stone carving and other pieces of contemporary art.” From Vishabourg from the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, the specialists were able to reach the conclusion that this carpet was woven in Armenia, and their dating is based on their comparison with the representational painting of the Florentines and Venetians in the churches in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, and the first researcher who focused on the study of carpets believes @vichapagorg that the very special range of colors of vichapagorg that were exported to Italy, and then to Holland, had a certain influence on the palette of all European painters.
Many copies of the 18th-century Armenian vichapagorg rugs have survived and are now housed in museums in Berlin, London, Vienna, Budapest, Istanbul and Cairo, and some fine examples from the early period can be seen at the Museum of Armenian History in Yerevan and at the Museum of Ethnography of Armenia in Sardarapat, This group of carpets is characterized by several specific patterns, the most important of which is the image of a stylized dragon guarding the tree of life.
In the seventeenth century, an Armenian carpet of the botanical geometric type appeared, with the central rose decorated with lush and luxurious plants, stylized floating ducks, birds with folded wings and horses roaming along it. Some of them were 6 or even 8 meters long, and these patterns were ascending in character or were arranged in a diamond shape around the central point. Much attention was paid to strengthening the ornamentation of the ornamental borders, which began to be overgrown with clover grasses, leaves, flowers and other designs. On the old carpets, you can find a beautiful frame in the form of a wreath of musical instruments resembling a harp.
It is a landlocked country located in Central Asia, and it is surrounded by five landlocked countries: it is surrounded by Kazakhstan from the west, northwest, and north, Kyrgyzstan from the east, Tajikistan from the southeast, Afghanistan from the south and southeast, and Turkmenistan from the southwest, and its capital is Tashkent, and Uzbekistan has become Part of the Russian Empire and then became a Soviet republic in 1924, and during the dissolution of the USSR, the country gained its independence in 1991.
“The house begins where the carpet is laid,” a proverb often repeated by Uzbeks, as carpets are considered part of the Uzbek culture, and when you enter the home of an Uzbek family, you see carpets spread on the walls and floors.
All Uzbek rugs are traditionally handwoven and can be of any shape and size, from small prayer rugs to large luxurious rugs, and as each region developed its own style, rugs were prized for their artistic value and practical functions, and were often seen as a symbol For prosperity, good taste and home comfort, the largest collection of carpets is said to belong to the Emir of Bukhara, who had more than 10,000 carpets in his palace.
There are three main types of carpets produced in Uzbekistan: rugs, flat carpets and without pillars, and carpets with pile or tufts. The warm, thick, water-repellent hues are monochromatic, revealing the natural cream or gray color of the original wool, or sometimes dyed with natural dyes, such as indigo blue, madder root red, and pomegranate hues of yellow, and in the desert regions women also make similar rugs of camel hair.
Flat-woven rugs were traditionally made on simple wooden looms that folded easily, making them ideal for a nomadic lifestyle. The coarse woolen yarns were woven on wooden spindles used by Uzbek ancestors long ago. These spindles are still used today by artisans to create the famous Gulhair woven rugs. Loosely woven, they are woven from long, narrow strips sewn together. These rugs are characterized by a specific pattern of lines and diamond-edged triangles. Nowadays, Uzbek weavers prefer to use woolen or cotton threads. The hand-woven rugs made in Bukhara are considered to be the best in the country, while Surkan carpets are known for their unique two-tone yarns.
History of carpet making in Uzbekistan
The availability of raw materials for the production of carpets contributed to the development of this form of applied decorative art in Uzbekistan because for centuries the Uzbek people raised sheep and camels to harvest the wool that was used in weaving carpets. New designs, and weavers began to use more diverse materials, having reached a high technical level, and this industry continues to grow and develop to this day.
Tufted carpets are considered one of the most precious rugs in Uzbekistan. They are made from the finest quality wool and then processed through a mass of knotted threads and then decorated with rich patterns, to create enchanting carpets. The making of these luxurious rugs is a very arduous task and requires the utmost concentration and skill of the craftsmen. The warp threads are pulled on the loom, then the weaver threads the individual threads back onto itself, pressing each one with a metal hook so that it is tied along the previous knot. Attention to detail is critical, because one knot of the wrong color is in the wrong place. A mistake can ruin months of hard work. Carpet weaving, like embroidery, is a traditional domain for Uzbek women in particular. These techniques have been passed down from generation to generation, from grandmother to daughter to granddaughter. Even today, young Uzbek women can be seen sitting behind their looms weaving. The most beautiful and most authentic types of oriental carpets.
The city of Bukhara, the capital of Bukhara Province, is the fifth largest city in Uzbekistan in terms of population, and one of the most important centers of the historical Silk Road. In ancient times, caravans and great merchants used to pass through this city. It is made from the shell of red walnuts, pomegranates, yellows, and brown onions, and all the fibers that we find in nature are used in weaving it. One of the most important features that distinguishes the weaving technique and patterns of the Uzbeks from other oriental carpet weavers is their use of tribal, animal and floral motifs in Uzbek carpets and the high skill, as it can The manufacture of carpets made of silk, cotton and camel wool takes at least three months.
Characteristics of Uzbek carpets: charming patterns
The designs were also passed down from generation to generation, with vibrant designs and inspired by the personal ideas of the weavers. Each unique design reflects the ancient perceptions of the Uzbeks. Women used symbolic and stylized patterns, woven rhythmically on the surface of the carpet, often as protective talismans from witchcraft. Mostly faint hues of blue and red, but yellow, orange, green, white and black colors may also appear.
Carpet making today
Many carpet lovers want to bring back the ancient know-how of carpet weaving to Uzbekistan. Many of these modern weavers aim to salvage the lost techniques that were used in carpet making, return to the natural dyes and secrets of their ancestors. New trends are also emerging, as silk carpets enjoy a new status. In Tashkent, Margilan, Bukhara, Samarkand, and Khiva, once upon a time, no Uzbek home was complete without these rugs, and now, thanks to the dedicated work and amazing artistry of Uzbek craftsmen, the magic of these sumptuous rugs can bring oriental flair and sophistication to homes all over the world.
Oriental carpets have become a part of the civilization, culture, customs and charm of the East, and a piece that is flocked to by all those who realize the artistic and historical value of this type of amazing carpet. Collectors of oriental carpets value these ancient pieces not only for their investment potential but also for their exquisite beauty, and they roam in auctions and show houses to acquire this The unique and charming carpets, which tell the stories of the East, its rich civilization, and reflect the imagination and skill of oriental weavers, ancient and modern, in Iran, Turkey, Armenia, Uzbekistan, and other countries of the East.