The Turkmen carpet is a household name, a trademark known all over the world, and a sign of the highest craftsmanship and durability, they are said to be: “stronger than stone, more tender than roses”.
The history of the Turkmen carpet is deeply rooted in ancient antiquity. During the excavation of the ancient settlement of Giaurgal in the territory of present-day Turkmenistan, archaeologists have discovered fragments of carpets that are more than two millennia old. There are also earlier evidences that carpet weaving was formed, as a kind of applied art, as far back as the 4th-3rd millennium BC. It turned out that the ornaments on the Turkmen carpets completely repeat the drawings on the ancient dishes produced much earlier.
Despite the proximity of famous carpet making centers in Persia and Iran, in Turkmenistan the craft of carpet production developed independently. In Europe, the Turkmen carpet became famous for the Great Silk Road. The European nobility was shocked by the splendor of carpets, to become the owner of a carpet that delighted the eyes of the Emperor Rome in his palace, was considered very prestigious. In the Middle Ages, the news of the beauty and silkiness of Turkmen carpets spread throughout the world. And from the middle of the XIX century Turkmen rugs were invariable exhibitors in Paris, Berlin, St. Petersburg and even in Washington, where they collected a huge number enthusiastic reviews.
A carpet for a nomad – is the warmth of a home, furniture, interior decoration, without it, it is impossible to imagine a festive table and an ordinary tea party with the family. Babies are born on carpets and go into the world of another old man, that is why carpet has become an integral part of the culture of the Turkmen people.
Each tribe has its own images on the carpet, symbolizing its history and traditions. Just as in all images of the Egyptians there is an image of the ancient God of the Sun Ra, so in the center of any Turkmen carpet there is a symbol of the Sun warming and giving light to all living things on the planet, secondary figures are located at the edges.
According to the legend, the ancient ancestor of Turkmen Oguz-khan left his sons with instructions coded in gels – repetitive images of Turkmen carpets, they carry some information, completely unsolved, perhaps the ancient civilization of the people.
The classic carpet is woven in a dark red or brown color scheme, thin black lines define the boundaries of the ornaments, among the geometric figures the stylized images of animals are guessed, you will not find paradise birds or exotic forest dwellers there, it’s all very simple – horses, camels, sheep. Prior to the beginning of the last century, only vegetable dyes were used in production.
Despite many differences, carpets made in Turkmenistan are recognizable; by touching one of the greatest creations of human hands, one can not forget this sensation, and one can say with confidence – yes, this is a Turkmen carpet! In gels the device of the Universe – the Sun and the Earth is ciphered. Gels can be seen not only on carpets, but also on many architectural monuments and government buildings of the country’s capital.
Turkmen carpets today
Despite the respectful attitude to the carpet in the Eastern countries, only the Turkmens brought it into the state symbols. The vertical strip of the Turkmen flag is decorated with five basic gels, symbolizing the inviolable union of the Turkmen people. On the emblems of Turkmenistan of different times they are arranged in a circle. Since 1992, Turkmenistan has declared a national holiday – the Day of the Turkmen carpet.
Since the end of the XX century carpet weaving takes the leading position among other sectors of the country’s economy, replenishing the state treasury. In 2003, a unique carpet size of 301 square meters was included in the Guinness Book of Records.
Sales of national hand-made carpets on the world market are handled by a specially created Ministry of Carpets. The carpet-making museum has unique carpets, so here you can see the smallest carpet in the world and the legendary one that was on the stage of the Bolshoi Theater and in the Kremlin Palace of Congresses. The museum’s collection is one of the richest in the world. In the restoration workshops of the museum restore the old specimens, it is laborious and hard work, because they have more than a million knots per square meter.
Secrets of the quality of the Turkmen carpet
Many of us know that carpet weaving is predominantly a woman’s occupation, only they are patiently able to tie and clip thousands and thousands of nodules, but few people think that nodules need to be tightly pressed against each other, what will ensure longevity of the product. A metal comb with a weight of 1 kg, a fragile female hand, hundreds of times a day, strikes the next row of nodules with force, receiving a return to the shoulder, comparable in strength to the blows of the athletes. In each of the magnificent carpets, which we tirelessly admire, we have invested more than three hundred horsepower – this is the acceleration of the car to 300 km/h, the energy sufficient to provide electricity to a small city for 8 hours.
The Turkmen carpet can decorate and radically change the interior of any house, bringing comfort and luxury to it. The purchase of handmade carpets is the investment of money in a product of high artistic value, which only increases the cost over time, Turkmen carpets occupy a middle position between the purchase of antique furniture and antique engravings. The demand for handmade Turkmen carpets remains consistently high for many decades.