Rugs have been woven throughout the Caucasus Mountains for centuries. The writings of ancient travelers to this region and centuries-old antique carpets testify to the historic roots of this tradition. Within this broader region are the provinces Qarachop and Borchali. These historic rug weaving centers have been inhabited by the Azerbaijani people for centuries, but their land now lies within the borders of the Republic of Georgia.
I traveled to Georgia in 2015 to work with Ryan from reWoven who is producing high-quality rugs that embody the aesthetics and methods of centuries past. This includes hand spun wool yarn, natural dyes, hand weaving, and historic designs.
Women from our weaving village hand spin their own undyed white and black wool into yarn, while naturally dyed color yarn is purchased from other regions. We also recovered antique designs from the finest collections in the world which house rugs from this region. We are bringing these designs back to their place of origin so they can be rewoven today.
Each reWoven rug includes a certificate that guarantees the rug’s quality and authenticity, along with sharing personal information about the weaver and images of the rug coming to life on her loom. More than an exceptional decorative piece, reWoven rugs represent a direct link to the artisan and her rich weaving tradition.
reWoven is committed to insuring the maximum benefit for its weavers and their community. reWoven is a project of Millennium Relief and Development Services, and their local non-profit, Caucasus Hope Partnership. All of the proceeds of this project will remain within the local village. It is our aim to find a direct market for our rugs, creating higher wages for the weaver and a better value for the customer.
I thoroughly enjoyed my time in Georgia, with many great experiences culminating in a night spent in a shepherd’s tent over 2000m up in the Caucus mountains. I was very much inspired by Ryan, a man with a passion who desires to use his giftings to bring genuine positive change to the people around him.