Evidence of early carpet design in AzerbaijanTraditions of Azerbaijani carpet weaving may date back to 2,000 B.C.E., to the period known as the Bronze Age. In the 7th century C.E., the Arab Caliphate invaded modern-day Azerbaijan, bringing new cultural traditions of Islam. Muslim traditions inhibited the representations of animals and humans. Weavers in the area perpetuated the Turkic preference for geometric designs. Carpet weaving flourished under the Turkic Seljuks and Azerbaijani Turkic Atabeg dynasty. In the 13th century, the Mongols expanded into Azerbaijan, creating a new international interest in the carpet trade. Carpet weaving and exports to Europe reached their peak during the Azerbaijani Turkic dynasty of the Safavids, who ruled all of historic Azerbaijan.

Historical Accounts

Hans Memling's Altarpiece of St. John the Baptist and St. John the Evangelist features a yellow Oriental carpetHistorians have uncovered evidence of Azerbaijani carpet weaving in both travelogues and art work. Greek historian Xenophon (c. 430-354 B.C.E.), as well as the Venetian explorer Marco Polo (1254-1324), left behind written testimonials of the exceptional nature of Azerbaijani carpet designs. Renaissance artists such as Hans Holbein (1497-1543) and Lorenzo Lotto (c. 1480–1556) depicted Azerbaijani carpets in their paintings.