|Original name||فرش ازبکستان، قالی ازبکستان|
|Alternative name(s)||Uzbek Rug|
|Common motifs & patterns||Red, Orange, Black|
|Foundation material||Wool, Cotton|
|Knot type||Symmetrical (Turkish)|
Uzbek carpet or Uzbek Rug is one of the eastern rugs that woven in Uzbekistan.
A people of Turkestan and northern Afghanistan, mainly inhabiting Uzbekistan. Settled Uzbeks of the oasis cities, formerly referred to as “Sarts,” are an amalgamation of different Turkic groups and Turkicized Tajiks. Their weavings include a very wide variety of techniques. Their all-wool rugs have a long pile and are in colors of red, orange, and black in geometric designs (triangles, diamonds, and rectangles), often with the ram’s horn motif. Some Uzbek pile rugs are woven in strips of about two and one-half feet by eight to ten feet. These rugs are woven with the symmetric knot tied so it skips a warp rather than being tied on two adjacent warps. Wefts in these rugs are behind rows of knots, as well as above and below each row of knots. As a result, knot nodes are not easily visible from the back of the rug. There are many Uzbek flatweaves. The Uzbeks weave silk ikats. Their needlework includes suzanis and other highly skilled embroidery. Functional flatweaves of the Uzbeks include kilims, animal trappings, saddle bags, the kergi or kit bag, animal trappings, duppi or skull-cap, shaikalt or small bag for tea, wall hangings, bedclothes, and garments.
Uzbek rugs are made in Uzbekistan, an independent nation in Central Asia. Uzbekistan was once part of the historical Turkestan region. The Uzbek people are a large Turkic ethnic group settled in their own country and throughout the region. Some Uzbeks live as seminomads, working in agriculture, raising livestock, and herding sheep. The ancient cities of Bukhara and Samarkand are located in Uzbekistan. These two cities were on the Silk Road between the Far East and China, and were important trade centers in old Turkestan. Bukhara produced rugs and carpets, but was mainly a marketplace for the surrounding area, whereas Samarkand served as a rug-trading center rather than a place of weaving origin: there was no local rug-production industry in that city.
Uzbek rugs are known in the antique market from the mid-nineteenth century. The weavers make many types of tribal rugs in pile and flatweaves, including all types of nomadic bags, transport bags, tent hangings, animal trappings, tribal decorations, and others.
Uzbek rugs are geometric, in mostly allover styles. The designs show influences from the neighboring country of Turkmenistan, along with other Turkestan regional tribes. The Lattice style featuring tribal motifs is popular among Uzbek weavers. The rug borders are narrow and, at times, have a minor guard border.
Early rugs have a goat hair warp or an all-wool foundation with a wool pile. Today, cotton is chosen for the foundation. The Persian (asymmetric) knot is employed. In addition, Felt Carpets are commonly produced by the Uzbeks.
"Suzani" embroideries made by Uzbeks are famous in the world market. They are considered a collector's item, especially early pieces from the eighteenth century. Silk Ikat textiles from Bukhara are also a collector favorite, most notably as robes and other garments, and as panels.
Uzbek rug colors are bold and mostly have red or reddish brown in the field or border. Occasionally, ivory is used for the background. In addition, different shades of dark blue, green, rust, gold, and brown are woven for the design elements and borders. Dark brown or black outlines the designs.
Formats range from small tribal items to rugs approximately twelve feet by six feet. Uzbek weavings are generally medium to very good in grade quality.
- Abraham Levi Moheban. 2015. The Encyclopedia of Antique Carpets: Twenty-Five Centuries of Weaving. NewYork: Princeton Architectural Press.
- Peter F. Stone. 2013. Oriental Rugs: An Illustrated Lexicon of Motifs, Materials, and Origins. North Clarendon: Tuttle.