Textiles & Weaving

Armenia has a rich textile history passed on by 30 centuries of diligent practice, a tradition that was nearly destroyed by the 1915 Armenian Genocide. From the first millennium BC to the present there is a continuous and consistent record of fine textile production with diversity and richness.

The best-known Armenian embroidery, made in the city of Marash — now Cilicia, in south-east Turkey — is admired for its rich, satin stitch and its cheerful colors. Common designs of the Marash embroidery are flowers and tiny animals, particularly the rooster.

“Marash work” also reflected Armenian architectural features, in that it would include intricate stitches of crosses or other Christian iconography. Colors would include bright blues
and reds over darker backgrounds, with sometimes a subtle hint of silver or gold thread stitched through, along with strings of pearls, around particularly important symbols.

Of course, the most elaborate use of textiles, weaving and embroidery in Armenia is found among its infamous carpets.