Carpets

Carpets

Armenian carpets are mentioned in the medieval sources. According to the 13th century Arab historian Yakut al-Hamawi carpets from Qalikla (Karin, today’s Erzroum) were the best, and the name of the town was derived from the Persian word “khali”- carpet and kale – fortress.

Some intricately designed Armenian carpets of the 17th–18th century have survived, but western sources prefer to call them with the general term of “Caicasian”. Most famous types of the Armenian carpets are the Dragon carpets, followed by the carpets, designed and woven in Van, Lori, Pambak, Khndzoresk, Shushi, Artsakh (Karabakh) and other Armenian populated towns and villages. Many of the carpets woven in these places have Armenian inscriptions or dedications. Carpets appeared in Europe and later the USA due to the activities of the Armenian merchants, who dominated all the above markets until well into the middle of the 20th century.

During the Soviet period carpet weaving suffered neglect and gradually more and more carpets were machine made. After independence, thanks mainly to the efforts of the Diaspora Armenians, who invested in the country, the weaving craft has slowly been revived and today excellent examples of hand-made carpets of the traditional designs could be found.

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