Adaptation of the oldest known tribal rug designs and patterns
The Kazak collection represents the most distinctive Armenian carpet designs, incorporating deeply meaningful symbols into bright and energetic palettes. The designs were adapted by James Tufenkian from vintage, antique Armenian and Caucasian rugs, interpretations of some of the earliest tribal rug designs and patterns. The designs you see in this collection are reminiscent of the most common motifs and symbols found in vintage rugs from the region.
Reviving an ancient craft
James started production of the Kazak rugs in Armenia as a way to revive the ancient craft and preserve local heritage. All the details of the Kazak rugs are intentional including design, patterns, and color palettes, which play on the origin of the oldest rug designs. There is often a religious aspect to the rugs, for example a repeating pattern may signify that God is eternal and forever, and the Boteh design represents the earliest symbolism of the Virgin Mary and fertility. Color is also important, red is often used as the prominent color because it creates blessing and protection. Another detail which make the Kazak rugs in this collection special and unique, is that they are signed by the weavers who handcrafted them.
Many of the designs styles that made these rugs quite functional historically were kept and used in today’s crafted Kazak carpets. Most of these rugs are smaller than 8x10 which allows them to function as either floor or wall coverings. The rugs were likely first used by tribesmen on the walls of their homes as insulation and later in history cultural references can be made to rugs found hanging in scholarly settings, such as libraries, signifying characteristics such as wisdom and authority. The tassel seen in the corner of some of these carpets also served a function in original designs, they were as a handle to hold the rug while it was cleaned.
Functional works of art
The rich symbolism, symmetrical design, and bold colors give the Kazak rugs an old rustic or southwestern style look. They generally work exceptionally well installed in entries, dens, libraries and vacation cabins. They can, however, look beautiful in any area of the home including bedrooms, in front of a fireplace in a traditional style living room, or dining room. The Kazak rugs are also perfect for creating a lodge look in a mountain cabin or cozy den of an Oxford scholar. As mentioned above they can also be hung on the wall as artwork. The smaller size and versatility of the Kazak rugs also make them great for wedding or housewarming gifts.