A Brief History of Kazakh Carpets
In origin, Kazakh is a tribal name, now a town, river and district in the extreme west of Azerbaijan, the Caucuses. Kazakhs; also known as Qazax, Kazak, Kasak or Gazakh; are noted for their coarse, long-pile carpets with shiny wool, dramatic colors and vigorous designs. Their knots are usually Turkish (Ghiordes knots) and are generally made by weavers who were Turkic nomads, now settled, who came to the region at the time of the great westward migration of Turks in the eleventh century. These carpets were usually made by the women in the families.
Kazakh carpets made at the beginning of the 20th century have colors that are synthetic and designs that are less varied and more simplified as compared to the ones made today. Carpets of this period however still offer good resistance although they are less appealing from an artistic point of view. Today there is a large production of new Kazakh carpets in Pakistan which are inspired by Caucasian designs and are made up of lively colors that are from natural vegetable dyes. These carpets are long lasting and have a short pile. Kazakh carpets blend equally well in classic environments as they do in contemporary settings.
Sources and inspiration: Bérinstain, Valérie, et al. L'art du tapis dans le monde (The art of carpets in the world). Paris: Mengès, 1996. Print.; Jerrehian Jr., Aram K.A. Oriental Rug Primer. Philadelphia: Running Press, 1980. Print.; Herbert, Janice Summers. Oriental Rugs, New York: Macmillan, 1982. Print.; Hackmack, Adolf. Chinese Carpets and Rugs, Rutland and Tokyo: Tuttle, 1980. Print. ; De Moubray, Amicia, and David Black. Carpets for the home, London: Laurence King Publishing, 1999. Print.; Jacobsen, Charles. Oriental Rugs A Complete Guide, Rutland and Tokyo: Tuttle, 1962. Print.; Bashir, S. (n.d.). Personal interview.; Web site sources and dates of consultation vary (to be confirmed). Without prejudice to official usage.