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The State Carpet Museum of Nakhchivan

It is important to protect unique antique carpets which combine historical and cultural significance with national identity and philosophy.  The Nakhchivan State Carpet Museum, which opened in April 1998, was established for this purpose. The museum was initially housed in the 200-year -old historical Khan Palace in Khan dik. In 2010, however, it was moved to a new building in the Heydar Aliyev Avenue. Nakhchivanis, including the museum staff, did not forget the blessing of national leader Heydar Aliyev, who visited the cultural center in 1999, or the recommendations of Vasif Talibov, the Chairman of the Supreme Assembly of the Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic.

The rich natural resources – the fascinating flora and fauna of Nakhchivan – have influenced the development of carpet weaving for thousands of years.

The dye-houses of Nakhchivan and Ordubad have always been famous. Carpet masters obtained different colors from various plants, flowers and tree barks to dye the yarns. For instance, yellow and yellowish colors were obtained from sarichop, sarigul (yellow flower) and fig leaves; red and pink colors from marena (dye plant) and cochineal; pea and creamy colors from onion and apple skins;  oak color from nut skin; navy blue and blue colors from natural indigo imported from abroad. In order to improve the ability of natural colors, professional dyers mixed them with hardening substances like alum and salt.

Information about zilis and carpets of Nakhchivan could be found in the “Hudud El-Alem” piece belonging to the second half of the X century. It is no coincidence that as a result of the studies carried out by the employees of the “Azer-Ilme” Carpet Company, information was obtained about  252 weavers from 68 villages of seven regions of Nakhchivan.

The Nakhchivan State Carpet Museum is currently custodian of over 300 antique exhibits. Here, conditions are established in accordance with modern protection standards. The most beautiful examples of flatweave and pileweave carpets, mefresh (holdall), and products like khurjun sacks (carpet bags) adorn the museum.  At the moment 109 carpets from the Nakhchivan group are on display in this cultural center. In addition, 29 flatweave and pileweave carpets,  together with other carpet products – three mefresh, khurjun, and salt sacks -  obtained by “Azer-Ilme” from different countries and private collections have been donated to the museum.

At present, 264 flatweave and pileweave carpets, various handcrafts, embroideries and weaving tools together with 60 copper and faience dishes, form part of the permanent exhibition in the Nakhchivan State Carpet Museum.

The Nakhchivan State Carpet Museum has emerged as a major cultural center where carpet weaving exhibitions, book presentations and scientific conferences regularly take place.

Weavers of Nakhchivan