The Beauty of Sumak

Sophisticated, unusual, and endlessly appealing, a Sumak rug is a conversation starter. An historic technique that's older than traditional piled carpet weaving, this weave requires the work of the most skilled artisans. They work by wrapping each weft over four warps, then pulling the wefts back through first two warps, and on and on until a textile is formed. No knots are tied in the process which makes the textile that much stronger. With this technique comes great durability that will last in even the most high traffic areas. A Sumak rug just might be your next great statement piece!   

An antique Sumak rug from Northern Caucasus 

An antique Sumak rug from Northern Caucasus 

The Sumak weave comes from the Caucasus region and is said to be named after the the town Shemakja. The word Sou from [soumak] means needle in Persian- so the meaning is also connected with needle-work. The Caucasus region is situated on the border of Europe and Asia between the Black and Caspian seas. In Greek mythology the region of Caucasus was considered one of the pillars supporting the world. It was also the place where Jason ventured to find the Golden Fleece! To the rest of the world it has been known as a region of consistent political strife. What most people are unaware of is its rich weaving history that dates back to the Bronze Age. 

Shahsavan Soumak weave

Shahsavan Soumak weave

Baluch Kilim 

Baluch Kilim 

Reverse Soumak weave

Reverse Soumak weave

Traditionally these flat-weave rugs were hand woven with wool and sometimes embroidered in silk. Sumak rugs are woven with a similar technique to Kilims - they are both flat weaves but the difference is in the backing. Unlike Kilims, Sumak rugs are not reversible and the back of the Sumak has threads that hang 2-4 centimeters long. This creates a cushion and is more thick and durable as a floor covering. The patterns presented are traditionally geometric and contain tribal motifs from different regions. The Caucasus area is of great ecological importance and has a wide range of wildlife, from leopards, brown bears, wolves, bison, golden eagles, and not to mention over 1,000 spider species. The environment alone sparked inspiration for the beautiful motifs used throughout the Sumak textiles. 

Carini Lang's Sumak Stripes shown in an interior designed by Damon Liss 

Carini Lang's Sumak Stripes shown in an interior designed by Damon Liss 

Sumak carpets bring rugged authenticity and an earthy honesty to an interior. Today more and more we see this applied in rustic or beachy interiors where many Sumak carpets, old and new, have come to be used. Although perfect for those settings, the beautiful texture in a Sumak carpet is a design element that can be used almost anywhere. These carpets are perfect for high trafficked areas in your home as they are durable and can easily be cleaned. Carini Lang offers a modern take on the ancient weave by creating our graphic designs in Sumak weave as well as our Arrow Sumak weave. Our Sumak carpets, along with every carpet we produce, is made by hand and can be guaranteed that no two are alike.

A traditional Sumak carpet

A traditional Sumak carpet

Carini Lang's Sumak carpet in an interior designed by Lorenzo Salazar 

Carini Lang's Sumak carpet in an interior designed by Lorenzo Salazar 

A traditional Sumak 

A traditional Sumak 

Carini Lang's Zebra print in Sumak 

Carini Lang's Zebra print in Sumak 

Carini Lang's Sumak stripes

Carini Lang's Sumak stripes

Detail shot of Carini Lang's Sumak carpet

Detail shot of Carini Lang's Sumak carpet

Carini Lang's Sumak carpet

Carini Lang's Sumak carpet


Joseph Carini

Joseph Carini Carpets , 335 Greenwich St, New York, NY, 10013, United States

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