The Powerhouse acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of the ancestral homelands upon which our museums are situated. We respect their Elders, past, present and future and recognise their continuous connection to Country.
85/1900 Main carpet, flatweave, wool/cotton, Tekke Turkmen women, Turkmenistan (formerly West Turkestan), 1850-1900. Click to enlarge.

Tekke Turkmen main carpet, late 1800s

This large Tekke main carpet is a rare and very fine example of flatweaves by Turkmen women. Turkmen designs have an ancient heritage and have changed little over time, while the weavers themselves are renowned for their skill and artistry. The closely patterned rows of interlocking motifs, the diamond patterned borders and wide kilim ends are a feature of Turkmen flat weaves, most of which have been attributed to the Yomud Turkmen tribe. However, the exceptional quality of this carpet's weave …


Object No.


Object Statement

Main carpet, flatweave, wool/cotton, Tekke Turkmen women, Turkmenistan (formerly West Turkestan), 1850-1900

Physical Description

A large carpet in supplementary weft float brocading in wool and cotton on a plain weave weft-faced wool ground. The warp is of ivory coloured wool and the weft of dark red-brown wool, with pattern wefts in three shades of indigo blue, salmon, red-brown and dark brown with white cotton highlights.

The field is closely patterned with an overall repeat of interlocking reciprocal hooked motifs - rams horns - and quartered diamond lozenges. It is surrounded by a main border, which is wider along the length than across each end, with a repeating diamond pattern and two guard stripes on each side of the long borders. At each end is a wide apron of dark red plain weave with three bands of narrow pale blue stripes and seven small triangular motifs close to the guard stripes. A short rope of eight-strand square braid is stitched around one corner. Each end of the carpet has a plain weave ivory coloured wool border and the warps are knotted into a fringe at one end and left as a plain fringe at the other. The back of the rug is a mass of threads.


Printed fabric label attached with plastic fastener to corner of rug: `Nomadic Rug Traders - Specialists in old and antique oriental carpets and textiles. Restoration. Cleaning. Valuations. 512 Cleveland St, Surry Hills, NSW 2010 Tel (02) 698 7749. Stock no 2056 Description: Tekkke Flatweave, ant. Country of origin: Turkestan (S. Russia) Size 312 x 185 Price: $4,200.'.Details filled with with typewriter.



3430 mm


1845 mm



The design for this large flatweave carpet differs from pile weave Turkmen rug designs which tend to be dominated by large octagonal medallions, called 'guls', arranged within the field on a grid pattern. Rugs similar to this one have previously been attributed to the Yomud, but are no generally thought to be woven by Tekke women. Weft float brocade pieces such as this were used as floor coverings, bedding covers or room dividers. Some of the best Turkmen work was done for dowry pieces.

The Turkmen are generally considered to be the descendants of the original producers of knotted pile carpets. They inhabit what was formerly western Turkestan and in the 1800s consisted of about seven major tribes - the Tekke, Salor, Yomud, Ersari, Arabatchi, Saryk and Chodor. The Tekke, who are thought to have made this large carpet, are nomadic sheep herders who, until the early part of the 1900s, had for centuries fiercely maintained their independence.



The flat-weave carpet was purchased for the collection from Ross and Irene Langlands of Nomadic Rug Traders in 1985.


Credit Line

Purchased 1985

Acquisition Date

25 September 1985

Cite this Object


Tekke Turkmen main carpet, late 1800s 2021, Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, accessed 27 October 2021, <>


{{cite web |url= |title=Tekke Turkmen main carpet, late 1800s |author=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences |access-date=27 October 2021 |publisher=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, Australia}}