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Kazak Karachop rug

Code: KZKCH20

Size: 181x220cm

Size (ft): 5'11"x7'3"

Area: 3.98 m2

Density: 105 000 knots per square meter, totally ~420 000 knots

Colors: red, medium blue, yellow, green, royal blue, maroon, ivory, dark brown.

madder, weld (Reseda Luteola), onion skins, indigo, pomegranate skins, walnut husks, natural dark brown sheep wool, natural ivory sheep wool, natural medium brown sheep wool.

Materials: Handcarded and handspun wool for pile, ivory wool warps (natural ivory and brown twist) and light red wool wefts (two shots, dyed with onion skins). 1cm of flatwoven kilim ends at both sides. - wool on wool

Knots: Gördes (Turkish, symmetrical)

Pile height: 0.7cm

End finishs: Horizontal band of two-pick oblique interlacing warps. Braided fringes.

Inscriptions: weaving date, illegible word

Weaver: Sevinj, Khayala

Weaving Period: Three months

Handwoven in Azerbaijan

Design: The archaic design in the green field contains a large ivory ground central octagon which sits within an implied square, formed by triangular corner pieces. Balancing this central arrangement of motifs are 4 medium sized square medallions in each corner of the field which add strength to the composition as a whole by being of the same ground color as the central large octagon (ivory). These flanking ivory ground squares contain rows of stars.

A nomadic life scene is depicted inside the central medallion. Two human being figures holding each other hands stand in front of a tent. There is a horse with saddle next to the tent. A crescent/moon and a swastika are depicted above the tent. The swastika represents the sky/universe. There are stag, goat and dog motifs in the various places of the central medlallion. The tree represents the nature/forest. The small yellow squares above and below the central medallion contains 2 circles (above) and a hooked tribal motif (a decorative tree used in weddings). The minor ornamentation are various archaic motifs such as rams horns, memling gul, tree of life, tent (woven upside down) etc.

The design was done by Vugar Dadashov.

The main border depicts hooked motifs which are often interpreted in literature as symbols of beetles.

Karachop pattern has most probable pre-Islamic totemic sources which it shares with the Turkoman göl. Over the period from which examples are available, the design of the Karachop rugs basically remained, stable geometric designs, possibly because it was ancient adaptation of Central Asian totemic themes. Many symmetrical design elements to be pointed on the north/south or vertical axis and blunted on the east/west or horizontal axis can be found commonly in rugs of Turkic speaking people: Turkmen, Shahsavan, Azebaijani, Turkish etc.  A 'proto-Karachop' (McMullan, plate 98) from western Turkey shows four pairs of red stylized animals in the central octagonal medallion, surrounded by four minor medallions edged with typical Turkoman-style kotshak forms. Most probably it had a south Caucasian contemporary, but no example is known. The earliest Karachops, like other early Kazaks, are finely knotted and not very large. They have either a red or green field, and a dark purple color is almost always present.

Subsidiary figures which are found at each end, in the “2-1-2” format, can also let us to trace the lineage of the Karachops back to the Holbein carpets and Ushaks. Following is an image of a 16th Century Holbein Type IV rug from the Museum of Islamic and Turkish Arts in Istanbul illustrating this relationship:


Information about the Karachop village: Karachöp is the name of a district with eight villages in Kakheti province, Georgia. The name of these villages are Yor-Mughanli, Tüller, Lambali, Kesheli, Düzeyremi, Qarabaghli, Qazylar and Baldo. These villages are inhabited by Karapapakh Turks. This is the ethnic group who is responsible for the weaving of the historical Karachop rugs. The names of these villages are taken from the sub-groups of the Karapapakh tribe.

Karachop village

Note: KARAPAPAKH (Turkish, "black hat"), a Turkic people whose language belongs to the western Oghuz division. They are of mixed Kypchak and Oghuz origin.

More information about Karapapakhs


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Our Karachop rug in an Austrian house


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