How Carpets in Uzbekistan Are Made : Buying Guide
Carpet-making in Uzbekistan has been practiced since ancient times, and there are countless styles and techniques.
Carpet weaving in Uzbekistan is typically a woman’s work. Although men sometimes make carpets, it is usually considered a job for women as it requires small, dexterous hands. Women pass the carpet weaving technique from mother to daughter. When traveling to Uzbekistan, you are very likely to see young girls working on a loom.
How to tell the quality of a carpet when shopping?
One of the essential indicators of the quality of a carpet is its density.
The density of a carpet depends on the number of knots tied per square meter/cm.
The more knots are tied, the smaller they are, and the finer and more precise the pattern and the denser the carpet, the higher the price.
How long does it take to weave one carpet?
On average, one carpet takes a year to make at least!
There are three main types of carpets produced in Uzbekistan:
Felt carpets in Uzbekistan
Felt carpets are the most ancient form of carpet-making. It was produced by nomadic pastoralists trying to use extra wool from the sheep. If you mix the wool with soap and water, it turns into a thick heavy felt. Not only it is warm, but as legend has it, it’s spider and snake bite-resistant!
Only natural dyes were used to dye the yarn for the old carpets.
Moraine extract – for all kinds of red shades
Indigo- for a wide range of deep blue colors
Oak, walnut, and pomegranate bark – for brown, black and yellow.
Other natural dyes include :
The natural dye recipes were carefully kept in the families of carpet makers and passed down from generation to generation as a lasting value.
Flat Uzbek carpets
Glat carpets are often woven with a pattern of longitudinal stripes edged with a chain of rhombuses and triangles. Modern flat-weave rugs can be woven from woolen or cotton yarns. The loom determines the width of the carpet, typically not exceeding 50 cm.
Bukhara flat carpets have always been considered the best. The base threads are made in two colors. Woven on broad looms, the rugs usually have large expressive patterns composed of the contrast of bright and white spots( so-called “slit” techniques)
Tufted carpets in Uzbekistan
Tufted carpets are the most valuable and sought after.
Made from the finest weel and typically containing 100 or more knots per centimeter. It takes years to make, and only the most skilled carpet makers can weave it. One knot of the wrong color in the wrong place will ruin months of work.
Carpets are considered a work of art. And they indeed are. You pass them from generation to generation, buy them at auctions, trade them. They gain value over time, and it’s one of the most luxurious gifts one can make.
Did you know that a natural silk carpet can last several centuries?
It’s true. Not only the colors do not fade they become brighter and sharper the older the carpet gets. A silk carpet’s matte sheen acquires a golden hue over time. How is it not a piece of art?
All carpets in Uzbekistan are woven by hand. In fact, the entire process and the whole process are made by hand until today.
From the isolation of silk thread
coloring the silk threads
Where can I see the process of carpet making in Uzbekistan?
Samarkand has some carpet factories where you can see the whole process. Most carpet shops in touristy areas have weaving looms set up, and you can see the process there.