1 Living Tradition: Handmade Carpets

Living Tradition: Handmade Carpets

Posted on August 20, 2013 by team

Today we are going to come to Dagestan to see how real carpets are made there (with no artificial colorants). It is a complicated, expensive and laborious process. It takes about two years to make one carpet like this. They gather herbals and roots, dry, grind and color them. When this is done they start making a carpet.

The coloring shop is located in a provate house, on the second floor lives a family and hopefully they do not suffer much from what happens on the first floor. As a rule they color threads once a month only or even more seldom. The boiling process takes place in a basement, where they have several boilers. On hot days it is very hard to be inside. Like in a sauna.

Everything starts from colorants preparation. They are gathered in various seasons and many factors should be considered.

The gathered material is dried and grinded, stored in sacks at an improvised warehouse. They have this warehouse right at home, have no money for a separate one – these carpets are generally made with huge enthusiasm.

Coloring: grinded plants boil for some time then yarn is added.

Boiling time depends on a required color.

It’s really hot there. Five minutes and you get all wet! Regular cold shower can help.

In an hour they get these yellow threads which should be washed. After the boiler they are washed in a “washing machine” for 15-20 minutes more.

Now the threads are to be dried.


When the threads get dry they can be packed into sacks which are subsequently delivered to the shop. Yarn is made in several villages. Villagers do not have much work so this so-called “factory” is actually the only place there that gives any jobs.

In Kozherek village. Three to five women work at one spinning loom.

They smile but this work is not easy at all.

The main instrument – such a hook.

In the house of one handywoman.


This carpet, which is not so big, was being made for three months by the woman. And she also needed to find time to keep the house, be with two children, take care of cattle etc.

The place where they live is rather beautiful, by the way. Quite inspiring.

But meanwhile we’re back in Makhachkala. The next step is cleaning and burning of the carpets. It is required to remove extra pile. After burning it is washed again for almost an hour.

Grapes growing at the house.

The carpet is huge. Its cost is 650 thousand rubles (21,5 thousand dollars). Expensive? Hard works should be paid for! Factory carpets are cheaper, of course.

After the washing the carpet is dried and ready for sale.

via dementievskiy


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One response to “Living Tradition: Handmade Carpets”

  1. Alex says:

    Very impressive

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