Back to "Azerbaijan Rugs" Main Page

Back to "Antique Rugs of the Future" Project Main Page

 

 


"While looking at the bright colors and seductive patterns of antique Caucasian rugs, some kind of magical fascination takes one to the time when the weaver's eyes and hands were creating this piece of art and it draws the beholder to see what the weaver was seeing and to feel what the weaver was feeling..."

About the project & its purpose:

There must be a reason why antique Caucasian rugs have always been the most popular in the world’s most famous auction houses such as Sotheby’s, Christies or Bonhams. Why antique Caucasian rugs are always highly sought after by collectors? Why do most authors of Oriental rug books place a Caucasian rug image on the front cover of their books?

Could it be the impressive rich and harmonious colors? Maybe it is the diversity and abundance of archaic designs? Or maybe that’s the mystery of Caucasian rugs...

Whatever the reason is, the truth is that most of these precious rugs were woven more than a century ago. The 19th century village and nomad weavers used the traditions dating back at least to the 13th century and used designs that belonged to their tribe and village, they generally inserted their own ornaments and tribal symbols in the empty areas of the rug. But with the establishment of the Soviet reign in Azerbaijan, the quality of rugs started to fall, usage of natural dyes and handspun wool had dramatically decreased, only some nomad and peasant weavers, who wove not for commercial purposes but for their own families, used ancient traditional methods of their ancestors in the beginning of the Soviet Period. It was during World War II that Azerbaijan’s village rug weaving overall went into a decline from which it never completely recovered. In the 1960's, carpet-weaving artels took over the village hand-knotted rugs, and village weavers (except some remote mountainous villages) were urged to use chemical dyes, to use machine-spun yarns and even sometimes to imitate the look of machine-made carpets. In this way, the tradition of the ancestors was mostly forsaken.

To rediscover these long-forgotten secrets of the ancient Caucasian rug weavers’ art and to bring new life into old traditions, “Antique Rugs of the Future” project has been started. This project grew out of an extensive research program on antique Caucasian Azerbaijan carpets. Hundreds of antique Caucasian rugs have been analyzed to determine the essential features (design, structure, material and dyes) of antique Caucasian Azerbaijani rugs. Also over 20 000 photos were gathered from various sources such as the world’s most famous auction houses, collectors, connoisseurs and some dealers, which helped a lot  with the research. Traveling to some remote mountain villages of Azerbaijan, after all this time where traditional patterns and weaving techniques still survived, to meet old weavers trying to figure out their recipes and techniques also helped a lot towards the development of the project.

Our goal of reviving traditional designs and ancient rug making methods was not easy to achieve, for many weavers had long relied on old ready-made patterns of the Soviet carpet-weaving artels.
Only hand carded and hand spun spring wool is used to weave the rugs, which is the most resilient and lustrous of the time of wool. The wool is then hand-carded and hand-spun before it is dyed. Only natural dyes made from local plants have been used to create colors not seen for more than a century. We have refused to use chemical dyes and machine spun wool - even though insisting on natural colors and hand spun wool only makes the work more difficult and expensive.

 

All the woven rugs follow strict quality control, though each of them must achieve an excellence in color, construction and overall design. A tag displaying the name of the weaver and trademark, also the structural data is affixed to each rug.  Additional information about the historical and artistic analysis of the specific design is available upon the buyer’s request.

 

Also, it is important to emphasize that these rugs are setting new standards of excellence, socially, economically and aesthetically. Beside our workshops, we work with the local women who weave our rugs at their home as a natural part of the daily family routine, which improves their social and economic status. The resurrection of this ancient art has inspired these rug weavers to reach back to the finer craftsmanship - and the different way of seeing - of their grandmothers, in the days before chemical dyes. The results are not only new carpets that recall the rich color harmonies of the treasured nomad and peasant rugs of the past, but also changes in the patterns of their life. No child labour is allowed strictly.

 

Because of the limited scope of our project, relatively few rugs and flatweaves are produced and they are difficult to obtain. Though the project is growing and our rugs of original quality and standards are now collected internationally. Not only are these rugs practical, they also represent great value for money with a potential bonus as future collector's items.

 

Invigorating the ancient art and craft tradition of Azerbaijan people thus creates a source of national pride as well. These superior museum quality rugs have allowed us to boast that our rugs are indeed the antiques of the future and our project is the only one of its kind in the world from this point of view.

 

Vugar Dadashov

artistic expression, beauty, rarity and cultural importance...that is what makes us unique.
 

 


 


Border of the Shirvan rug reflects the 3D effect of the natural dyes




The XVIII century revived Caucasian Dragon



Handspun wool is one of the main reasons for
colors  to look different throughout the rug according to the direction of the pile
 


Copyright © Azerbaijan Rugs 2004-2013
E-mail:
vd@azerbaijanrugs.com
E-mail: ra@azerbaijanrugs.com
Tel: +994 50 380 88 78 (Baku, Azerbaijan)
Tel: 415.690.7735 (San Francisco, USA)