The art of carpet-making was introduced in Armenia in the fifth century BC and fragments of ancient rugs, dating all the way back to this time, have been excavated in the country. The oldest surviving rug is the Pazyryk carpet, which was excavated from a frozen tomb in Siberia and dates back from the fifth to the third century BC. Now, it is displayed in the Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg, Russia.
Whether it was tufted rugs, knotted carpets or flat-woven textiles, Armenian carpets were noticed practically everywhere — traditionally used to cover floors, decorate walls, and embellish furniture like sofas, beds, chairs and tables. Carpets were, and still are, also used as decoration for entry ways into homes and decorations for church alters.
The 13th century is the most celebrated period of Armenian rug weaving. This is when carpet weaving really started to develop in the Near East region, thanks to good quality wool and pure water and dyes. The great “dragon” rugs displaying indigenous designs that resemble highly stylized dragons woven into a latticework of plant and animal forms were created during this period. They are among the most original and abstract creations in textiles.
By the 19th century, when the sultans of Turkey wanted to establish rug-weaving in Constantinople, they called upon the Armenian master weavers to aid in this mission.
Overall, throughout the many centuries of Armenian carpet-making, one overarching trait of all Armenian carpets is the proliferation of intricate ornaments that accompany its attractive colors and designs.
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