Armenian carpets – thousands of years in the making

We live in a world of products largely made in China, by people in conditions we can’t even fathom.  Or by machines that are quickly killing manufacturing jobs around the globe.  So when we were invited to the Megerian Carpet Company‘s factory in Yerevan, Armenia, we were really excited.  It was with great pride that they shared with us the history and beauty of their company.

For over 100 years, the Megerian family, originally from Armenia and now living in New York City, have been producing unique, handmade rugs and carpets.  They are made from local wool, and dyed with local Armenian ingredients.  That is why they last for centuries.

Armenian rug natural dyes wool Megerian
Natural dyes sourced in Armenia

The tradition of making rugs in Armenia dates back to pre-Christian times, nearly 30 centuries ago.  We were taught that Armenian rugs can be identified by their unique Armenian double knots.

They even had one of their workers show Carine how it is done.  They told her that all Armenian women should know how to weave this special knot before they get married, something I wish I had known 3 plus years ago!

She couldn’t quite keep up the pace so, needless to say, she won’t be quitting her day job anytime soon… oh wait, she doesn’t have a day job!

They showed and told us a few things that really blew our minds.  Most of their work is done with sheep’s wool.  Each square metre of carpet has 160,000 Armenian double knots.  It takes them between 35-40 days to weave a small rug, and between 6 to 9 months for larger rugs.  They make some rugs that are 100-square metres, so just imagine how long those must take!

They also make rugs from silk, which can have up to 1 million double knots per square metre!  How crazy is that.

Armenian rug Megerian carpet company museum 4
A special carpet with an amazing story

As they brought us through their rug museum, we were shown the rug pictured above.  The story behind it was simply amazing.  Made over 160 years ago in Armenia, you can see in the picture that it was ripped in half down the middle.  At the time of the Armenian genocide a mother ripped in two, wrapping each of her two daughters in it.

They were split up in the chaos that was the genocide.  The mother’s wish was that one day, her daughters be reunited.  60 years later, they finally were, and the rug was stitched back together.

The Megerian carpet company weaved a handful of rugs commemorating the 100th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide.  They gifted them to prominent figures such as Pope Francis, Serj Tankian of System of a Down and the late Charles Aznavour.

They even have a reception area where they host weddings and special events.  They also have a restaurant that can feed hundreds of the visitors who come to their facilities, like we did.

We were blown away by our tour of the Megerian Carpet Company, their history, their craftsmanship, their dedication, and of course their beauty.  But don’t just take our word, take a look for yourself!


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