Azerbaijani folk-applied art and its branch-carpet weaving occupy a special place in the history of the national culture of the people.

The most widespread type of folk art is the art of carpets, which occupied a strong place in the life of the Azerbaijani people and almost became the symbol of the people. Fleecy and pileless carpets, decorated with various elements and drawings, are used in wall decoration and laying of beds, tents, alachigs, as well as residential houses and other buildings, and are of high aesthetic importance at the same time.

According to archaeological materials and written sources, carpet weaving was engaged in Azerbaijan even from the Bronze Age. (before the end of the II millennium BC -at the beginning of the I millennium). The city is associated with enthusiastic people from around the world who have enjoyable. Hey. (II millennium BC), a Chul picture decorated with flower images was discovered on the Hasanli Hill near Lake Urmia of golden glass ( I millennia BC) the description of the glaze covered on the surface and other findings show the ancient history of carpet art in Azerbaijan. Remains of Palas and carpets belonging to the I-III centuries were found during archaeological excavations in Mingachevir from catacomb graves.

Herodotus, Claudius Elian, Xenophon, and other ancient historians of the world gave information about the development of carpet weaving in Azerbaijan. In the period of Sassanids (III-VII centuries) carpet art developed in Azerbaijan, exquisite carpets were woven from silk, gold, and silver threads. Albanian historian Musa Kalankatli (VII century) informs about silk fabrics and colorful carpets woven in Azerbaijan. The production of carpets woven with gold-silver threads and decorated with brow Stones became traditional in the XVI-XVII centuries. In the Middle Ages, the main production centers of pileless carpets woven from gold and silver threads were the cities of Tabriz, Shamakhi, and Barda. Such carpets, which were mainly woven for feudal lords, were called "Zarbaf" because of their high cost. English traveler Anthony Jenkinson, who visited Azerbaijan in the XVI century, informs about carpet woven with gold and silver threads in Abdulla Khan's summer residence in Shamakhy. Yan Streits, a Dutch traveler of the XVII century, says that the Chul laid on the Shamakhy judge's horse is decorated with golden threads and pearls and precious stones.

Interesting information about Azerbaijani carpet products and their artistic features is found in written sources of the Middle Ages. In the work "Hudud al-Alam" ("borders of the world") of the X century, an unknown author informs about the palas and chules woven in Mughan, Zili carpets of Nakhchivan, silk carpets of Azerbaijan in the epos "Kitabi-Dada Gorgud", fleecy and fleeceless carpets in the works of Abul Ula Ganjavi, Nizami, Khagani (XII century).

In the XIII-XIV centuries many carpets and carpet products were exported from Azerbaijan to foreign countries. These carpets, attracting attention with their delicate ornaments, delicate and delicate patterns, are reflected in works of famous European artists, miniatures. In the work of Dutch painters of XV century Hans Memling "Maryam with her baby" Shirvan carpet, in the work of Van Eykin "Saint Maryam" "Zeyva carpet", in the work of German artist Hans Holbein (XV Century) "Ambassadors" "Gazakh" carpet were depicted.

In the second half of the XVIII century, the north of Azerbaijan began to be divided into small feudal — Sheki, Baku, Guba, Karabakh, Irevan, Ganja, Nakhchivan, Shirvan khanates. In the period of khanates, carpet production was greatly expanded and each Khanate had its own carpet-making quarry. The development of carpet weaving in the period of khanates paved the way for the formation of the name of carpet weaving schools in the future.

The best samples of carpets and carpet products brought from Baku, Guba, Shamakhi, Ganja, Sheki, Gazakh, Javad uyezd, and other places were demonstrated in Moscow in 1872 at Moscow Polytechnic and in 1882 at the all-Russian industrial and art exhibition were awarded gold and silver medals. The main part of the exhibits displayed at international exhibitions organized in Vienna (Austria) in 1872, Turin (Italy) in 1911, London and Berlin in 1913 were carpets and carpet products from Azerbaijan.

Types of fleeceless carpets. According to their technical characteristics, Azerbaijani carpets are fleecy and fleeceless. Fleecy carpets date back to the earliest period of weaving.

Azerbaijani carpet art differs due to its high artistic technical quality and variety of fleeceless weaves. Here are presented all samples of fleeceless carpets, and in the carpet art of other countries, these patterns are represented in small quantities. In this regard, German art critic G.Rop proves that in the section" Caucasian carpets "of the book" oriental carpet " carpets here originate much earlier than Asian carpets, and pileless carpets — kilims are the best in the Caucasus. The basis of the creation of pileless carpets and carpet art, in general, is their first simple examples- woven, cheten, buriya. Pileless carpets are divided into 8 types that differ from each other according to their weaving method, composition structure, ornament richness, and color.

- Palaz
- Cecim
- Ladi
- Kilim
- Shadda
- Varni
- Zili
- Sumakh

Azerbaijani carpet weaving schools. As an art area, Azerbaijani carpets are conditionally divided into 7 carpet-weaving schools due to their geographical location, patterns, Composition, Color Solution, and technical features: 

1. Guba
2. Baku or Absheron
3. Shirvan
4. Ganja
5. Gazakh
6. Karabakh
7. Tabriz

1. Guba Carpet Center located in the north-east of Azerbaijan is divided into three parts — mountainous, Foothill and lowland. Centralized points in Gonagkand, Khashi, Jimi, Afurja, Yerfi, Budug, Giriz, Jek, Salmasoyud villages can be attributed to the mountainous part.

Carpet production in the foothills is carried out in Amirkhanli, Alikhanli, Khalfalar, Piramsan, Bilij, Shahnazarli, Pirabadil, Zeyva, Zohrami, Sumagobag, Khirdagul-Chichi, backpack-Chichi, Dere-Chichi villages, and in the lowland, Shabran Aran zone, Chay Garagashli, Haji Garagashli, Susanli, Garagashli, Devechi, Mollakamalli, and others. and in the towns. This school also includes carpets woven in Derbent.

The decoration of Guba carpets is stylized plant ornaments consisting of geometric patterns, and sometimes animal motifs. The medallion style is also widely used in the carpets of this school. The most striking compositions of Guba carpets are "Gadim-Minara", "Qimil", "Alpan", "Gollu-Chichi", "Pirabedil", "Hajigaib", "Giriz", "Jack" and others.- is.

2. Baku school includes Absheron villages-Goradil, Novkhani, Nardaran, Bulbula, Fatmai, Mardakan, Gala, Khila, and other villages, as well as Khizi district located outside Absheron and Qadi, Hil, Kesh, Findighan, and others. it covers carpet areas. Baku carpets are distinguished for their softer color intensity, originality of artistic elements, and subtlety of patterns. Geometrical-shaped lakes and curved-line botanical elements prevail in the ornaments of carpets. In the color range of Baku carpets, mainly dark blue, in rare cases, red and yellow colors are used for the intermediate area location. Most of these carpets bear the name of the village where they are woven. Baku Group includes "Khilabuta", "Khila-Afshan", "Novkhani", "Surakhani", "Gala", "Baku", "Goradil", "Fatmai", "Findighan", "Qadi" and other condiments are included.

3. Shirvan carpet school. It covers Shamakhi, Maraza, AGSU, Kurdamir, Gazimammad (Hajigabul), Goychay, and their surrounding villages. Shirvan group includes "Maraza", "Gobustan", "Shirvan", "Kurdamir", "Shilian", "Shirelibey", "Chukhanli", "Bijo", "Sor-Sor", "Hajigabul" and others. includes compositions. Rich and intricate patterns of Shirvan carpets have been popular since the Middle Ages. German, English merchants and ambassadors of the VI-VIII centuries provided valuable information on the art value of Shirvan carpets in their diaries. These carpets were praised in the paintings of European artists in the XIV-XV centuries. Dutch artist Hans Memling (XV century) in his work "Maryam with her baby" depicted the "Shirvan" carpet.

4. Ganja carpet-weaving school covers the territory of ganja city and its surrounding villages, Gadabay and Goranboy, Shamkir, and Samukh districts. The center of this school is a little town. Ganja, one of the ancient cities, is located in the northwest of Azerbaijan. Ganja was known as a center of production of silk, wool fabrics, silk carpets in the X-XI centuries. For centuries, there were special carpet workshops in Ganja, a center for the production of high-quality carpets. Ganja carpet-making school had a positive impact on the carpet-making of the regions around Ganja.

Ganja carpet school includes "Ganja", "ancient Ganja", "Golkand", "Fakhrali", "Chaykand", "Chayli", "Shadili", "Chiragli", "Samukh" and others. includes compositions. "Fakhrali" prayer carpet belonging to Ganja group differs from other carpet compositions for its high artistic feature and touch.

5. Gazakh carpet-making school is located in Gazakh, Borchali, where Azerbaijanis lived in Georgia, and Goycha carpet-making centers in Armenia, where Azerbaijanis lived until 1988.

Gazakh Carpet Center includes Gazakh and its surrounding villages, Agstafa, and Tovuz regions of Azerbaijan.

Goycha Carpet Center is surrounded by the territory around Bambak, Lambali, Ijevan, Garagoyunlu, and Goycha lake (now Sevan), and Borchali carpet center includes Borchali, Garayazi, Garachop, Gachagan carpet points.

To the Kazakh group, "Shikhli", "Borchali", "Gaymagli", "Garagoyunlu", "Garayazi", "Garachop", "Gachagan", "Dagkesemen", "Demirchilar", "Kemarli", "Goychali", "Salahli" and others cheshnili carpets included.

A harmonious coloration is created in the carpets of these schools with little colors. Patterns of ganja-Gazakh carpets attracted the interest of European artists even in the Middle Ages, the images of "good news" by Carlo Krivelo, Italian painter of XV century, "messengers" by Hans Holbein (XV century) of German painter were described.

6. Karabakh carpet school, located in the southwest of Azerbaijan, has developed in two regions — mountainous and lowland zones. In written sources, Shusha City and villages of Dashbulag, Dovshanli, hostage, Trniviz, Malibeyli, Chanakhcha, tug, Tuglar, Hadrut, Muradkhanli, Gasimushagi, Gubadli, Gozag, Mirseyid, Bagirbeyli, Khanlig, Tutmas played a major role in carpet making in XIX century in the mountainous zone of Karabakh, which was mentioned by Arab historians Al-Sacred, Masudi and b. as a large Craft Center engaged in wool and cotton processing since X century. Of course, in low-lying areas, where raw materials are provided better than in the mountainous regions, Jabrayil, Agdam, Barda, and Fuzuli occupy the main place in carpet production. There were a lot of villages in each of these centers where people were intensively weaving carpets for sale. In terms of their artistic structure, technological features, color solutions, Zangazur, and Nakhchivan carpet production centers are also included in the Karabakh carpet school. "Aran", "Baghadagullar", "Balig", "Buynuz", "Barda", "Bahmanli", "Karabakh", "Goja", "Gasimushaghi", "Lambarani", "Mughan", "Talish", "Lampa", "Malibeyli", "Khangarvand", "Khanlig", "Khantirma", "Chalabi", "Shakhidbuta", etc. cheshnili carpet compositions are one of the classic examples of Karabakh carpet-making school. A set of 5 carpets adapted to the interiors of the houses in Karabakh is widely spread.

In the early 1750s Panahali Khan of Karabakh laid the city of Shusha. The city was originally called Panahabad and for many years became the capital of the Karabakh Khanate. In the XVIII century, Garabagh carpet-weaving school was concentrated in Shusha. In the XVIII century, along with classical carpets, new carpet compositions — "Baghadagullar", "Saxsidagullar", "Bulud" and others were woven from the patterns taken from the collection, fragrant soap, fence, and other household items brought from Russia and Europe. The color palette of Karabakh carpets is very rich. This palette reflects the most elegant shades of all colors of Karabakh nature. Since ancient times, the middle field area of Azerbaijani carpets has been traditionally worked in red color. In addition to various plants, colors were obtained here from the Middle Ages. The most common in them to get a red color is cachenil. Among the people he was called "insect of red", "red worm", "chick of Oak".

7. The peace treaty concluded between Russia and Iran on February 1828, 10, in the village of Turkmenchay near Tabriz, entered history under the name of the Turkmenchay treaty and ended the Russian-Iranian war of 1826-28. Under the terms of the treaty, the northern part of Azerbaijan joined Russia. The southern part of the country, including Tabriz, Ardabil, Urmia, Khoy, Maragha, Marand, Maku, and other cities, was enslaved by Iran. Thus, Azerbaijan was divided into 2 parts. Since that time the term "South Azerbaijan" has appeared. Since then, carpet samples of Tabriz carpet school have been known as Iranian carpets all over the world.

Tabriz carpet school is the oldest and most famous carpet school in Azerbaijan and covers Tabriz, Ardabil, Maragha, Marand, Maku, Khoy, Urmia, Zanjan, Gariga, Heris, Sarab, Ahmedabad, Mirish, Ahar, Salmas, Goravan, Senna, Garadagh and other carpet points. Turkish-speaking tribes who lived in this area played an important role in the formation and development of carpet weaving since ancient times and had a serious impact on the formation of Iranian carpet art at different times. In the Middle Ages, trade relations with the most important shopping centers and rich cities of the East, as well as with Europe, led to the rapid development of the art of carpet weaving. Tabriz carpet school, which is already in bloom in the XI-XII centuries, mastered the artistic features of the Tabriz miniature school in the XIII-XIV centuries, reached a high stage of development in the XVI-XVII centuries. Pileless and fleecy carpets belonging to this school are distinguished by Artistic Design, Color Harmony, and a variety of ornamental decorations. Tabriz carpet school is divided into 2 groups according to the main carpet compositions: Tabriz and Ardabil groups. The Tabriz group includes compositions "Tabriz", "Bakhshayish", "Gariga", "Goravan", "Heris", "Petachturunc", "Afshan", "Agajli", "hunting", "four chapters", and "Ardabil", "Sheikh Safi", "Shah Abbasi", "Sarabi", "Zanjan", "Mir"and "Achma-yumma". "Bag-Paradise", "bag-forest", "Balig", "Buta", "Dervish", "Ketebali", "Gordastet", "gollu-gushali", "Guldanli", "Leyli and Majnun", "Mashahir", "Mun", "Namazlig", "Najagli", "Sarvistan", "Sardari", "Sahand", "Syvi petal", "Farhad and Shirin", "Khayyam", "Khayyam Khatai", "Ashad", "Charkhi-Gul", "jeyranly", etc. classical compositions are also popular. The famous carpet "Sheikh Safi" (size 56,12 sq. m, 1539, "Victoria and Albert" Museum, London) the most beautiful example of ornamental carpets is the masterpiece of Tabriz School of carpet weaving.

The development of carpet weaving in the XX century. The period of further development of Azerbaijani carpet art dates back to the middle of XX century. During this period, the development of Azerbaijani carpet art continued in several directions and was multifaceted. Carpet art traditions in the regions and villages of the Republic are continued by different carpet Masters. Their creative attitude to classical compositions is evident in the carpets woven by traditional varieties. At the same time, new compositions and elements of patterns appear in carpet weaving. In the newly created fountains, the tendency to floral patterns with relatively curved lines, human, animal, bird images, plot compositions created in lyrical and romantic styles is superior. Another branch of the development of carpet art is the activity of "Azerkhalcha" production Union. Carpets woven in workshops and workshops of"azerkhalcha" include traditional patterns, lakes and colors, creative variations made by masters increase and enrich the number of classic carpet compositions.

Another branch of carpet art is continued and developed by professional artists. Carpets woven on the basis of new ornaments and patterns created by them are of great importance in enriching classical compositions.

Despite the violation of classical canons in the composition, painting solution and color of these carpets, various artistic and technical means help to reveal the subject.

Important measures have been taken to develop carpet-weaving in Azerbaijan. As for the art and science of carpet weaving. And ad. He is taught in Azerbaijan State Art School, Azerbaijan State University of Culture and art, as well as in art-oriented colleges. Carpet weaving as art is taught in vocational schools, children's art galleries and other places.

The study of Azerbaijani carpet art as a science and its modern development in professional artists ' creativity is connected with the name of people's artist of Azerbaijan Latif Karimov (1906-1991). Latif Karimov, a skilful connoisseur of Oriental, including Azerbaijani carpet and decorative-applied art, a prominent ornamentalist-artist, researcher, studied Azerbaijani carpets for many years, enriched Azerbaijani decorative art with new ornaments, and created new decorative motifs based on traditional decorative elements. Woven on the basis of Latif Karimov's sketches “Afshan" (1932), "Gonagkand" (1939), "Petachturunj" (1952), "Shusha" (1953), "Goygol" (1958), "Garabagh" (1960), "Islimi" (1964), "Butali" (1965), "Bahar" (1966,1976), "in the animal world" (1969), "Shabi-hijran" (1975), "Zarkhara" (1977), "Firdovsi" (1934), "Samad Vurgun" (1956), "Vagif" (1967), "Fuzuli" (1972), "Nasimi" (1974), "Safiaddin Urmavi" (1975), "Ajami" (1976) and others. ornamental and portrait carpets are valuable examples of carpet-weaving art due to the harmony of ornament elements, compositional vegetation, elegance and expressiveness of paintings, and rich color. In 1949, he was awarded the USSR State Prize in 1950 for his "Stalin" carpet created together with collective authors. His personal exhibition opened in London in 1986 was successfully exhibited by the artist "Dami-Rumi" (1980,1981), "Petalturunc" (1981), "Khatai" (1981,1985), "Achma-yumma" (1982), "Petal-Yumma" (1983), "Ketebabantlik" (1984), "song of the ages" (1985) and others. carpets were displayed.In Latif Karimov’s multi-volume work" Azerbaijani carpet", more than 1,300 elements of Azerbaijani carpet ornaments are analyzed.

The development of carpet weaving in modern times

In 2010, Azerbaijani carpet art was included in UNESCO's "representative list of the intangible cultural heritage of humanity". The Azerbaijani art of mugham was supported by the attention and care of President Ilham Aliyev to the culture of our people and promotion of our cultural heritage, and thanks to the initiative and work of President of the Heydar Aliyev Foundation, UNESCO, and ISESCO goodwill ambassador Mehriban Aliyeva and the fact that our national carpet art is on this list after the Azerbaijani ashug art is another successful step towards promoting our culture on an international scale in general.

Today, carpet art in Azerbaijan is experiencing a new stage of its development. The adoption of the law on protection and development of Azerbaijani carpet art", the construction of a building in accordance with modern standards for the State Museum of Azerbaijani Carpet and Applied Art by the order of President Ilham Aliyev is an expression of state care for this ancient handicraft.

The Carpet Museum, which has been operating since 2014, contributes to the promotion and recognition of Azerbaijani carpets worldwide. Examples collected in the museum meeting modern requirements include the history of our people. More than 13,300 exhibits and items are stored in the exhibitions and funds of the carpet museum, reminiscent of the original style of wrapped carpet, which reflects the development of this type of art in different periods. The museum also contains a copy of the famous "Sheikh Safi" carpet kept in the Victoria and Albert Museum of Great Britain, as well as famous compositions woven in XVII, XVIII, XIX, and XX centuries. As a result of the measures taken by our state in recent years to return the Azerbaijani people's wealth stored in foreign countries, the collection of the Carpet Museum has become even richer. Thus, according to the paragraph "Creating conditions for the return to the country of rare Azerbaijani carpets stored in museums of foreign countries," in Article 4.1.4 of the Decree of Mr. İlham Aliyev of 07.12.2004 "On the Law of 07.02.2005" On the Preservation and Development of Azerbaijani Carpet Art "and on the application of this law, the museum is promoted in the international arena. As a logical result of successful works two Azerbaijani carpets — "Ajdahali" (Karabakh, end of XVII century) and "Salyan Xyleni" (Shirvan, XIX century) from the collection of late Grover Shilts, a member of Chicago (USA) Society for oriental carpets and textiles were presented to the museum. This event means the restoration of one of the important pages of the history of Azerbaijani carpet art.

The fact that our natural, material, and cultural monuments were plundered and “captured” in connection with the occupation of our lands by Armenian occupiers is irrefutable. Some of them were taken by our compatriots living abroad and returned to their homeland. “Bakhchadagullar” carpet of Karabakh group with unusual history is kept in pile carpets collection of Azerbaijan Carpet Museum. In February 2017, a US citizen Elshad Tahirov, a native of Azerbaijan, saw a carpet on the website of the virtual art trade. It should be noted that E.Tahirov loves to collect books about Azerbaijani carpets and works of Latif Karimov, an outstanding scientist, carpet-Painter, founder of Azerbaijani carpet-making, and often searches for interesting works of art and information on the internet. This time it was mentioned in the article describing the carpet, which attracted the attention of the Collector: “ancient Armenia. Karabakh carpet" However, the inscription “gift from mother to Sarvar's birthday on January 1, 1979” woven in Cyrillic alphabet in Azerbaijani language proves that this item belongs to Azerbaijan and it is concluded that the carpet was taken out of our country by Armenian invaders. After a quarter of a century, Elshad Tahirov bought this carpet at the auction and sent it to the Azerbaijan Carpet Museum in May 2017. Although E.Tahirov tried to find the owner of the item, he could not achieve this and presented the carpet to the museum. It should be noted that this is the first carpet returned from the Armenian occupation after many years.

In 2015, on July 15, the opening of the exhibition “Azerbaijani carpets in art” took place at the festival's Palace of Cannes. Works by Azerbaijani artists Latif Karimov, Vugar Muradov, Butunay Hagverdiyev, and Elchin Valiyev – modern, pop-art works and installations based on national carpet sketches were presented at the exhibition.

In 2016, by the Order of the president of the Republic of Azerbaijan dated May 5, “Azerkhalcha” Open Joint Stock Company was established. The main purpose of the company is to produce and export carpets and carpet products, to organize their sale in the country and abroad, to apply new technologies in the production of carpets and carpet products, to modernize the material and technical base, and to use it effectively, as well as to carry out other works related to the development of this field. At the initial stage it was planned to establish branches of "Azerkhalcha" OJSC in Fuzuli (Horadiz), Agdam (Guzanli), Tovuz, Agstafa, Gazakh, Shamkir, Guba, Ismayilli, Khachmaz, and Gabala regions. In 2016-2017, the construction of buildings in these districts was completed, branches started to function, training and preparation courses on carpet weaving of "Azerkhalcha" were organized, relevant measures were taken to strengthen the working capacity.