Karabagh Rugs

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Original name: قالی قره باغ

    Alternative name(s): Karabakh, Karaja, Qarjeh Dgh, Qarabagh

  • What is a Karabagh Rug?

    The Karabagh rug (or Karaja rug) is handmade in or near the village of Qarjeh (Karaja), in the Qareh Dgh (Karabagh), a small rural town located in the Azerbaijani region of northwestern Iran.

    Karabagh rugs (also written Karabakh) were produced in the Karabagh area of the southern Caucasus highlands, which is now part of eastern Armenia and southwestern Azerbaijan, just north of the Iranian border. This is true of an Antique Karabagh rug.

  • Origin: Iran (Karabakh - Now Armenia/Azerbeijan)

    Karabakh is a landlocked territory shared between Armenia and Azerbaijan, once part of Iran.

  • Common Designs: Medallion, Geometric

    The most well-known pattern of Karabagh Rugs features three geometric medallions that resemble those found in Caucasian carpets. The central one, an eight-pointed star, has a latch-hooked contour and is different from the other geometric motifs.

    Medallions with s-like shapes and pictorial and realistic (French style, Aubusson and Savonnerie) flower motifs may be seen on Karabagh carpets, such as "eagle kazaks" and "cloudband kazaks". These can still be classed as Persian designs.

  • Common Colours: Red, Black, Blue

    For the field, medallions, and borders, the Karabagh uses black, blue-black or pomegranate red.

  • Material: Wool, Cotton

    The Eastern Karabagh region produces rugs with cotton wefts and pastel blue wool or cotton selvedges. Non-manufactured Karabagh carpets, on the whole, have a soft, high pile of up to 2 cm.

  • Karabagh Rug Characteristics

    All of the rugs are made of wool and are knotted in a symmetrical pattern. Karaja runners are comparable to Karabagh runners, although they have a more Persian aspect. As an older Karabagh rug was made in the area that was once part of Iran, these Persian rugs have varied design traditions.

  • The History Of Antique Persian Karabagh Rugs

    Rugs from Karabagh were among the most popular Caucasus exports to Europe.

    These were the forerunners of what we now refer to as Antique Karabagh rugs from the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. This region was one of the world's most important rug producing centres at the time. Armenians are considered to have woven a large portion of Karabagh's rug output in the nineteenth century.

    Rugs were traditionally woven in small workplaces or individual households in small villages where various ethnic groups lived at different points in history.

    Woven carpets were major symbols of affluence, not just practical crafts, unlike many other rural villages. Weaving was regarded as a necessary skill for women, who began learning to weave at six and were expected to complete at least one piece as part of their dowry. Every month, each household was supposed to weave at least one rug.

    Floral designs popular in French carpets began to be woven throughout the Caucasus, primarily in the Karabagh area.