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



Western Anatolian Rug Fragment, possibly 18th century

This rug, although severely damaged, still embodies the vitality and "creative borrowing" of early Anatolian village weaving. Despite its seeming spontaneity, it reuses many elements of 17th-century commercial carpets probably also made in western Anatolia. It owes the shape of its red field, for instance, to certain "double-niche" rugs (usually ascribed to Usak), that have quartered corner medallions with indentations that produce a startling "horned" effect in their fields.1 Its quatrefoil central device is likewise found on some "double-niche" rugs (and see cat. no. 1), while the color alternation of its corners is a frequent feature of "Transylvanian" rugs.2 But unlike the "commercial models" upon which it has relied, this rug is not the product of a workshop or cottage industry, and its strength does not lie in good draftsmanship. Although its border is wide and powerful, some of its hooks face in the wrong direction. Its field and medallion, with motley devices strewn all over them, are distinctly lopsided. Nevertheless, these somewhat naive improvisations by the weaver, and her use of color in resonant juxtapositions, give this rug freshness and idiosyncratic force that most of its models lack.

1. See, for instance, Ellis, nos. 28 and 29, pp. 83 and 86.

2. Ellis, fig. 31a, p. 94. A rug with similar colors and a related if more symmetrical field design, but different borders, appears in Peter Bausback, Anatolische Kniipfteppiche aus vier Jahrhunderten, Mannheim, Peter Bausback, 1978, pp. 46-47. Bausback calls it an Usak village rug and assigns it a date of 1700.

Structural Analysis
SIZE: 75 x 41 in. (191 x 105.5 cm.)
WARP: wool, Z2S; ivory, plied brown and ivory through the center
WEFT: wool, z x 3-5; red
PILE: wool, Z2S, symmetrical knots, h. 7, v. 8, 56 k/sq. in.; ivory, dark brown, red-brown, red, pink, yellow, yellow-orange, green, dark blue, blue, light blue
ENDS: top: missing; bottom: weft-faced plain weave dyed blue
SIDES: missing