Learn about Azerbaijani weaving techniques and explore carpets and rugs from various periods in the country's largest collection on display. Azerbaijan State Carpet Museum, also known as the State Museum of Azerbaijan Carpet and Applied Art, is a museum located on Neftchiler Avenue, in the center of Baku. The museum, established in 1967, is located in the former Lenin museum. The museum was named after the carpet designer Latif Karimov.
A historic trade
Rug weaving in the Caucasus goes back to medieval times at the very latest, as fragments of knotted pile carpet from the 13th and 14th centuries have been uncovered in several cave complexes in Georgia. It's also believed that the Persian Shāh Abbās established production during the 17th century in the Shirvan and Karabagh districts. These carpets were almost certainly based on Persian prototypes, although they are characterized by bold, vigorous designs rather than traditional Persian fineness of weave.
Learn all about how the carpets were made and how dyes were obtained from various plants in this major museum and cultural center in Baku. The museum holds over 14,000 items of ceramics, metalworks from the 14th century, jewelry from the Bronze Age, carpets and carpet items from 17th-20th centuries, national garments and embroidery, and applied art works of modern age. On the first floor of the museum you'll find an extensive collection of flat-weave carpets and various examples of applied arts, including bags and saddles for horses. The second floor has pile carpets from different regions in Azerbaijan, showing off the unique patterns and designs of the country. The third floor is all about modern designers, the history of the Carpet Museum, and a room for children to enjoy. Notable artifacts are a magnificent Tabriz rug called Ovchulug and the Dragon Carpet,a Karabakh rug, both of which were woven in the 17th century. There's also the Khila Afshan carpet, woven in the 18th century in the village of Khila.
More than just a museum
Beyond the exhibits on display at the museum, the people who work there also work to preserve and popularize the ancient art of carpet weaving by holding discussions, workshops, exhibitions, and symposiums, often with the support of UNESCO. The Azerbaijan State Carpet Museum presents many different techniques from around the entire country, and educates people about the development of carpet weaving around the world. Before you leave this absorbing collection, don't forget to pick up a souvenir from the gift store, which sells a variety of books about carpet production techniques and history.