Uzbek carpet weaving

Carpet making in Uzbekistan: yesterday and today

It is impossible to describe the Uzbek carpet in a nutshell. This is a whole artistic work, in which the multicolored nature of the ancient eastern state is imprinted: the celestial blue, forest greens, the whiteness of snowy mountain peaks and the velvet emerald shadow of the thickets on the slopes. Ruby colors of pomegranate seeds, lilac shades of grapes, golden quince are intertwined with extraordinary patterns. Bright, uncommon, intricate patterns, original color (from red-brown to red-blue), countless variations of patterns all this allowed local carpets to gain great fame in many countries.

Some unique samples can be seen not only in museums, but also in Uzbek houses. Perhaps, there is no such house in Uzbekistan, where there would be no carpet. By tradition, which was formed in ancient times, carpet products have always been an important part of the decoration of the home, often replacing furniture. Carpets covered the floor, decorated the walls and always appreciated not only their functional properties, but also artistic merit.

The art of Uzbek carpet weaving originated in ancient times, as is known from the monuments of literature and archaeological research. Uzbek carpet loom is an ancient variety of decorative art, which was praised in folklore, classical literary and historical works.

In the centers of carpet weaving the ancient national sketches, which traditionally carry Central Asian symbolism, carefully preserved.

Uzbek carpets

Uzbek carpet weaving schools

Homemade carpet weaving develops in the Fergana Valley, Nurata Mountains, Kashkadarya, Surkhandarya, Syrdarya regions, Karakalpakstan. The Uzbek carpet weaving centers for production and marketing are also Samarkand, Urgut, Kokand and Khorezm.

The Khiva factory is very popular for making carpets. Here the production of portrait carpets was opened, the tradition of which was known in the early Middle Ages.

Depending on the region, Uzbek carpets differ in color and ornament. For example, black, red and blue hues predominate in Samarkand carpets. long-bodied Bukhara carpets are full of multicolored patterns. Fergana carpets have red and blue stripes. Khiva carpets are mainly made from vegetable patterns.

Process of carpet making in Uzbekistan

Washed and fluffed up sheep or camel wool is spattered with water and spread evenly on a mat from a reed or on another, ready-made felt mat. The work piece is folded into a large roll, tied with a rope and a few women simultaneously roll it up with their feet, toss and shake up. After a while, the roll is unfolded, the damped felt is wetted with water, wound on a wooden round bar and again continues to be staggered until ready.

To make the yarn for the carpet the best spring wool of flat sheep was selected. Only the longest and finest fibers were used for the spinning of the filaments. Indeed, the value of the carpet has always been determined by its density. The best Uzbek carpets, woven from the finest threads, number up to several thousand knots in a square decimetre.

Uzbek carpet weaving process is a time-consuming, measured, laborious matter. It requires steadfastness, assiduousness, attention and at the same time speed and accuracy in the hands. An experienced skilled worker fastens the threads so fast on a base stretched over the machine, clamps the metal cord with a hook and tightly clogs it, which makes it difficult to follow the flickering of nimble hands. Since men usually do not maintain such a pace, carpet weaving is traditionally and today is a domestic women's occupation. Women pass their art from mother to daughter, using for this purpose their personal example. Ornaments of Uzbek silk rugs, created by craftswomen many centuries ago, once had a magical significance. They are based on stylized plant and zoomorphic motifs, magic symbols and totem signs.

carpets of Uzbekistan

It should be noted that the old carpet masters - gilamchi painted yarn exclusively with the help of natural dyes. They knew a great many of plants from which such paints were extracted. To obtain a red color of different shades, the moraine extract was most often used. Indigo produced a range of blue flowers. Broths of bark of an oak, a nut, a pomegranate painted a yarn in brown, black and yellow tones.

Dense white felt mats are the most valuable, but gray and colored are also made. In Khorezm, Karakalpakstan, Surkhandarya and the Fergana Valley, polychromes are made. They are adorned with simple ornamentation.

It is difficult to identify when the art of carpet weaving appeared. Stone spindles in Uzbekistan were found in the excavations of semi-nomadic tribes belonging to the era of the Eneolithic. Nowadays, in some rural regions, while the process of Uzbek carpet weaving, girls use similar stone or wooden spindles.

Types of carpets and rugs in Uzbekistan

Carpets are divided into several species along the length of the nap: long-carpet rugs "dzhulkhirs", short-carpet rugs "gilams" and lint-free carpets "palas".

Original long-sleeved carpets - dzhulkhirs with elegant joyful color today are the glory of Samarkand craftswomen. Andijan dzhulkhirs are distinguished by the fact that their central field is occupied by cruciform patterns, the motif of the wave prevails in the rim, and the color solution is built on the contrast of blue and red.

"gilam" carpets brought genuine glory to Uzbek carpets. It is difficult to determine in what era pile carpets appeared. It is known only that Marco Polo, who visited Central Asia in the 13th century, also spoke about the high quality of local products. Two centuries later, the Spanish ambassador at the court of Amir Temur, Rui Gonzalez de Clavijo, colorfully described the "bright red carpets" that he saw in the Samarkand palaces and gardens.

Carpets and rugs in Uzbekistan

Famous silk and gold carpets in Samarkand (Uzbekistan)

Silk handmade Samarkand carpets are very cuddly and incredibly pleasant to the touch. For seeming fragility, silk carpets are very sturdy and long-lived. The threads do not wipe, so the products with age acquire some nobility, gloss and a certain charm.

Having planned a tour to Uzbekistan, particularly, Samarkand, you should visit the carpet factory "Khudjum", where this famous silk hand-made "miracle" has been produced. Uzbek carpet weaving girls work one or two at the machine and if one of them gets sick, the work stops completely. There is no one to replace her; the handwriting is not the same. Samarkand rug weavers are convinced  that in order the carpet is beautiful and of high quality, girls should not quarrel in the process of work. And judging by the examples, the nerves in the team are fine.

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