Kazak rugs, also known as Kazakh rugs, are a type of hand-knotted rug made from wool with bright colors, distinctive patterns, and unique shapes. Kazak rugs are among the most recognisable Persian rugs because of their unique designs and vibrant colors. In this guide to Kazak rugs, we’ll cover everything you ever wanted to know about Kazak rugs, including where they come from, how much they cost, and why it’s worth paying the price for these beautiful works of art.
If you have any questions about Kazak rugs that aren’t covered in this guide, don’t hesitate to leave them in the comments below!
What are Kazak rugs?
If you’re looking for an affordable and durable floor covering, nothing beats a fine Kazak rug. The term Kazak does not refer to the geographic region of Kazakhstan. Instead, the Kazak rugs belong to Armenian rugs that originate from the south of the Caucasus. Generally, the traditional Kazak rugs were created by women who belonged to specific rug-making groups.
Kazak Rugs are creative and beautiful area rugs featuring artistic patterns. These rugs have a luxurious feel, and their intricate designs are made with a lot of attention and devotion. These Area Rugs are mainly made from silk, cotton, and wool and feature beautiful shades of colors. Usually, they feature eye-catching geometric patterns and employ unique shades of red, blue, black, and ivory. Kazak rugs reflect the culture and traditional values.
History and origin of Kazak rugs
The history of Kazak rugs goes back to the 18th century. During this time, nomadic tribes from the Caucasus region (now part of Azerbaijan) started creating these beautiful rugs to decorate their tents. These nomads were skillful in creating handicrafts and embroidery to adore their humble abodes. Kazak rugs are proof of their creative minds and imagination that transferred complex patterns and designs of cultural significance into their floor coverings.
On the other hand, the modern Kazak rugs are not as old. The use of synthetic dyes and the introduction of Pakistani motifs in Kazak rugs started after the late 1980s. During the Afghan-Soviet war, many Afghan refugees of Hazara ethnicity migrated and settled in Pakistan. These Afghans brought their traditional weaving style and used the Kazak motif in their designs a lot. As a result of new surroundings and easy access to new resources and materials, the traditional Kazak rugs were transformed and taken to new heights.
The use of various colors in a Kazak rug is determined by local tradition. The most common color combinations are black and white, with red or blue as an accent color. A variation on that theme is to combine two or three shades of one color, e.g., black and dark brown, red and rose red.
The traditional Kazak rugs used only natural colors, but they started using chemical dyes later on. It was most probably because of the influence of Pakistani weaving techniques and the availability of various resources in their new settlement. The modern Kazak rugs now display additional beautiful hues of deep cobalt blues, blue-greens, and rusty reds. After the 2000s, most weavers have entirely stopped using natural dyes and switched to the use of synthetic dyes in Kazak rugs.
Mainly, Kazak rugs feature distinctive geometric patterns and tribal motifs. Medallions, cross, and various geometric shapes are common patterns in Kazak oriental rugs. The other popular symbols include animals, four-leaf clovers, circles, birds, and fish. A close look at these rugs reveals that all the formation of these motifs and patterns employ only straight lines. It is because of a specific hand-knotting technique unique to Kazak rugs.
The Hazara people of Pakistan employ age-old techniques to create intricate designs of Indo Kazak rugs. They still use the ancient weaving techniques of their ancestors to keep the tradition alive. Also, all old and new Kazak rugs share a vintage feel regardless of their age. A thick and tightly-knotted weave is the reason for the similarity in the look.
The warp and weft base of Kazak rugs is made of cotton, while the pile is of wool. A count of 100 knots/square inches gives a compact and luxurious feel to the Kazak rug.
Different styles of Kazak rugs
Often called simply Kazaks, these large rugs are made of wool or a wool and cotton blend in bright, bold designs. Shirvan, Nahavand, and Hamadan are the three main styles of Kazak rugs. They all are hand-knotted, making for a much more time-consuming process than machine-made carpets and leading to some beautifully intricate designs.
These three rug styles are perfect examples of classic or standard Kazak rugs. Their designs are naturalistic and straightforward, and their colors are dark. All of these carpets originated in northern Iran between 1880 and 1920. The Nahavand carpets usually have a medallion design in the center. Shirvan rugs are square or rectangular.
On the other hand, Hamadan carpets feature diamonds, hexagons, or octagons. Moreover, most Hamadan rugs from that period measure about 12 feet by 8 feet. These pieces have a wool pile on a cotton foundation. Unfortunately, you cannot easily find the original examples of these antique rugs these days.
Where are modern Kazak rugs made?
After their conception, Armenian and Afghan weavers initially adopted Kazak rug weaving. Caucasian designs of antique Russian rugs or similar designs from regions of northern Persia were the source of inspiration for these weavers. Iranian carpet weavers created the most beautiful and unique designs of Kazak style rugs which are now the basis of most modern Kazak rug patterns. However, traditional Persian rugs have been much more famous than Kazak Persian rugs. So, many other Central Asian countries started weaving the traditional Kazak rugs and transformed them into exceptional beauties. Countries, including Pakistan, India, Afghanistan, and even Turkey, produce modern Kazak rugs.
Five ways to make your home look gorgeous with Kazak rugs
Decorating your home can be tricky, especially if you don't want to break the bank or clutter your living space with unnecessary junk. Fortunately, the timeless designs of Kazak rugs perfectly fit into any room in your house and make it look more beautiful than ever before.
1. Rethink color
Kazak style rugs have a tradition of using bold, bright colors in their designs. However, that doesn't mean you need to go with only dark colors. Kazaks are just as effective in more subtle hues and neutral tones. Play around with color palettes when arranging your décor. Keep textures similar for a well-balanced design, or mix and match for a unique aesthetic. When pairing texture with color, be sure that it complements the natural features of the rug. A bright-colored carpet will look good with a neutral-colored fabric on your couch.
2. Use multiple sizes
There are many sizes and shapes of Kazak rugs, but for some reason, our minds often assign them a single dimension. Don't be afraid to mix sizes and try out patterns that you wouldn't normally associate with specific shapes. Throw a Kazak runner in front of the TV instead of a large area rug, or place two small ones on either side of the bed instead of a large Kazak rug in front. By working outside of your comfort zone, you can get innovative and create impressive layouts that will impress everyone who sees them.
3. Choose the Right Pattern
When decorating a room, you must choose a pattern that complements your space. For example, if you have a lot of natural light, neutral colors work best; however, if your windowless den is too grey for comfort, opt for colorful and patterned pieces instead. When placing one rug as a centrepiece, go for bright colors and bold patterns. Moreover, if you place an ornate red-and-blue carpet in front of mahogany paneling, consider pairing it with other more neutral patterns so that they don't clash.
4. Keep the décor cohesive
To keep your accent area looking appealing, you could add a matching decorative floor cushion to go with the rug’s soft texture. Selecting a carpet and furniture with similar tones or patterns will help maintain visual continuity. When decorating with color, make sure your rug doesn't clash with what's going on in other parts of your room. A softer shade of an adjoining wall color is often a safe bet for keeping it all cohesive. However, if that isn’t an option, you can consider making up for it by using complementary hues and adding soft and neutral furniture. That way, everything won’t feel too similar.
Also, keep your rugs small. Large floor coverings tend to be overwhelming and take away from any existing style or décor. They also tend to be expensive, making them more of a commitment than most people are willing to take on when starting their design project!
5. Get Creative with Placement
Before you buy a Kazak rug, consider where you’ll place it. A large, imposing piece can be great for framing a doorway or filling an empty corner but being handmade. A large Kazak rug can be quite expensive. In contrast, smaller pieces are an excellent alternative to brighten most spaces. Placing a small rug in front of the mirror console or under the piano chair will instantly liven up those spaces. Small Kazak oriental rugs are excellent accents that don’t overwhelm a room. Think about how you plan to use your new Kazak wool rug. Keep its placement in mind when shopping and buying!
Common mistakes when buying Kazak rugs
When you go shopping for a Kazak rug, you will find it easy to spend too much. Remember that quality and value are not always related, and some carpets are more expensive because they have a fancy name attached. It would be best to do your research before buying one because prices can be incredibly high, and more affordable options may be available.
Try to avoid these common mistakes when buying Kazak rugs:
Don't shop on price alone
Like most things in life, cheaper isn't necessarily better. If you don't know what to look for in a Kazak rug, then the price might seem like an obvious choice factor. But with Kazak rugs, many other factors need your attention. Kazak rug prices can be somewhat high because of being handmade. However, it would help if you looked at other factors like design or materials used, which could significantly change your perception of how good or bad something is. Hence, a Kazak rug with synthetic dyes is not as close to authenticity as a rug employing natural dyes.
Don't assume it's genuine
Many people assume all authentic Kazak rugs come from Kazakhstan, which isn't true at all! Kazak rugs from Afghanistan, Iran, and Pakistan are better options when looking to buy a Kazak rug. So, just because a Kazak wool rug comes from Kazakhstan, it must be authentic or of good quality.
Don’t buy without a proper online search
When you purchase your rug online, it's hard to know if you're getting what you paid for. For example, a carpet might look exactly like one sold by a major retailer but cost a fraction of the price. The only logical reason for this price difference is that the rug’s not made with proper materials or craftsmanship.
You can now find so much information about any product that it’s a real challenge to separate what is true from what isn’t. Before you commit, do your research. Properly search Kazak rugs online and check what other customers are saying about the customer service of online vendors.
Kazak rugs at ALRUG are a treat to look at!
And there you have it! Everything you ever wanted to know about Kazak rugs. Feel free to read over these points and pull out any information that might help you buy a perfect Kazak rug for your home. Remember, research is your best friend when you purchase any product for the first time.
Please go through our collection of beautiful Kazak rugs. We have genuine handmade rugs and will be happy to answer any of your concerns. So, choose your vendor wisely. Check out Kazak rugs for sale at ALRUG today!