Situated south of Russia, with Turkey and Iran forming its other borders, the Caucasus region forms both a bulwark and a corridor between East and West. Weaving is an integral part of Caucasian culture. Kelims had many purposes – floor coverings, curtains, wall hangings, covers for seating areas and awnings for ox carts.
Distinctive geometric designs are a keynote of many types of Oriental rug made in the region between the Black and Caspian Seas. In the rugged mountainous area, known as the Caucasus, carpets were made by villagers using small looms. Each region has its own distinctive characteristics. Among the most famous and frequently seen Caucasian rugs are Kazaks, Shirvans and Soumacs.
Turkish carpets fall into to distinct groups: those made by nomadic tribal weavers and those made in urban or Imperial factories. Rugs cover wide spectrum of prices, from expensive silk rugs to cheaper Anatolian kelims, which are still available for a modest outlay.
Kazaks have large, bold geometric designs and long fine quality wool. Kazak rugs are often named according to their distinctive designs. Some of the most commonly seen motifs are: Pinwheel, Karachov, Fachralo and Bordjalou.
Soumacs are a type of kelim and are one of the easiest of the Caucasian rugs to identify because they are flat-woven rather then knotted, but, unlike other kelims, are patterned on one side only.
Typical Shirvans have short pile and small geometric patterns, in which dark blues and strong reds predominate. Beside distinctive pinnacled zig-zag pattern, there are small motifs, such as a star, a medallion and triangular motifs, that are arranged in rows over the field of the kelim, with narrow borders. Also, you can see combination of dominated colours of red and blue, with some green, yellow, brown and black.