Armenian Rug Production Today
Armenian rug and carpet production was done primarily in homes until the large factories of the Soviet Union were established. Then firms like HayGorg produced large amounts of handmade rugs while factories such as that in Ijevan produced machine made rugs. Carpets (or Kilims) were produced in homes, and appear never have been put into factory production in Armenia. The practice of weaving carpets in the villages seems to have died out in the 1950s, and is virtually unknown these days.
Rug production had a temporary setback with the collapse of the Soviet Union and the subsequent hard times and lack of raw materials as well as transportation options. After a few years with the general improvement in the situation in Armenia, the production picked up again. Armenian Diaspora investment also led to a large increase in production and now there are many companies producing a variety of rugs from the more simple, to the luxury Tufenkian rugs.
Armenian Odyssey Featured at Atlanta International Rug Market
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - Because the origin of the oriental rug is considered to be primarily from Persia, Turkey, China and India, few people would name Armenia as part of that group. For that very reason, the Megerian Brothers and AmericasMart are co-sponsoring the Armenian Odyssey event at the International Area Rug Market in Atlanta, Georgia from January 19-22. As native Armenians, the Megerians who now live in New York, established several manufacturing operations as a way of helping restore thecountry's broken economy through job creation. Also working to this means is U.S.-born entrepreneur James Tufenkian who has not only opened rug manufacturing centers, but small boutique hotels as well.
The rug conference will spotlight the metamorphosis of new creations along with the antique rugs that inspired their designs. These Caucasian, dated and inscribed, rugs will be on view during the weekend. The exhibition titled: Treasures of Armenia: Area Rug Artistry in Resurgence and Revival, will celebrate the heritage and rebirth of the Armenian rug industry.
Lenders to the exhibition will be the Megerian Family, the Tufenkian Collection, the Armenian Library and Museum of America, The Armenian Rugs Society, the Oriental Rug Retailers Association and the Sardarabad Museum in Yerevan.
World-renowned expert in Armenian art and architectural history, Lucy Der Manuelian of Tufts University will speak at the Breakfast seminar on Jan. 20. Her subject, Diamonds, Dragons and Crosses, ties the artistic influence in the ancient vanhks to carpets being woven during that time. On opening night, The Magnificent Carpets Gala, in partnership with the Armenian government and co-sponsored by Architectural Digest, will feature a guest speaker who will trace the history of rug making in Armenia and its revitalization in the 21st century. Attending the evening festivities will be collectors from Texas, California, Illinois, Michigan, Massachusetts, New Jersey and New York, along with dignitaries from Washington D.C. and the Republic of Armenia. The Gala will end with a band of musicians playing traditional Armenian folk music for line dancing.
Accommodations for the Conference can be made at the Holiday Inn Downtown or the Westin Hotel in Atlanta by mentioning the Rug Market at AmericasMart.