Aaron in Azerbaijan

Just another blog about Azerbaijan.

Azerbaijani Carpets, a Cultural Treasure

with 4 comments

Somehow, after a year and a half in Azerbaijan, I’ve managed to not write about carpets.  That’s a feat.  Azerbaijan is covered in carpets.  Right now, I’m looking at my couch and two armchairs draped in thin crimson-and-gold carpets.  It’s also not uncommon to see carpets on walls, as a sort of decorative insulation on cold walls.  And, of course, there are carpets on every floor of this country.

Azerbaijan is proud of its carpet-weaving history, as it should be.  The deep colors and intricate designs are a testament to incredible technical and artistic skill going back hundreds, if not thousands, of years.  Regional and ethnic nuance within carpet design make for a bursting diversity of aesthetics.  There are specific schools of carpets that are classified as Talysh here in southern Azerbaijan or Garabağ out in western Azerbaijan or as Quba up in the north.  And these details make it beyond just carpet-weaving, creating other crafts like woven socks, saddlebags, chests, bags, curtains, and more.  Certainly, the carpet culture goes beyond just Azerbaijan, a cultural feature throughout the Caucasus in Armenia and Georgia, too, and further into Central Asia and the Middle East.  Yet it would be a shame to not acknowledge Azerbaijan’s excellence in carpet-weaving.

Thankfully, I can point you to this recently-developed website dedicated to Azerbaijan’s carpet-weaving culture.  It appears to be somewhat incomplete.  Yet, soon it will be presented to UNESCO and hopefully it will be more developed by then.  It’s probably not very easy to put together a website that purports to present in five different languages.  You can learn all about the different types of crafts made from this specialized weaving or check out the different regions of carpet design (I love maps!) or pick up tips to keep your carpet in tip-top condition.  Enjoy the carpet galleries and also be sure to check out the other links (which, honestly, currently provide a more complete service describing Azerbaijani carpets, like this one).

A somewhat embarrassing story I have with Azerbaijani carpets comes from a trip last year to neighboring Georgia.  We came upon a carpet store in Tbilisi where our Georgian sellers were particularly nice.  They showed us different types of carpets and we proceeded to tell them which ones we liked best.  Unfortunately for our Georgian comrades, each one we picked out happened to be an Azerbaijani carpet.  We tried very hard to pick out a Georgian one we found particularly impressive, but each time the best one ended up being Azeri.  Maybe we were just at the wrong carpet store for Georgian fine carpets.


Written by Aaron

February 5, 2011 at 12:36 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

4 Responses

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  1. well done, Aaron. i did a round up of posts about carpets and similar stuff on gv and included your post as well. this is actually not a comment. just wanted to say i am from Lankaran too. how long will you stay there? would be good if we could meet up there anytime. or drop me an email if you happen to come to baku.



    February 22, 2011 at 11:15 am

  2. Dear Aaron, thank you for including the link of my website in your article. I would be glad if my website is included in the list of your Azerbaijani websites.

    Vugar Dadashov

    March 14, 2011 at 3:05 pm

  3. ooo my god, how nice it is that i found your blog while searching for carpet. It is very useful info, thanks for sharing your impressions and opinions. I became very joyful and proud of being Azerbaijani when i read your article, and when i saw the worth u gave to our carpet-weaving art. Hope, to see u again in Azerbaijan.


    February 1, 2012 at 10:19 pm

  4. great post!

    Brenda Moreira

    March 9, 2014 at 11:08 pm

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