For centuries, Azerbaijani carpets have accurately represented our nation’s great past, unique culture, and its origin.
One of the greatest achievements of Azerbaijani carpet weaving art is the government care given to its development. During his leadership in Azerbaijan, great leader Heydar Aliyev (1969-1982, 1993-2003) gave importance to the art ingeneral, including the promotion of the carpet weaving art. In accordance with the demands of different periods, the carpet art has weakened and was subject to total degradation. However, after gaining independence – especially as of 1993 – Azerbaijan began to revive. As a result of hard work of Ilham Aliyev, the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan, the legislative basis of the carpet weaving development was established. On December 7, 2004, the law of the Republic of Azerbaijan "On the Protection and Development of Azerbaijani Carpet Weaving" was ratified; on February 7 a decree was issued on the application of this law. The opening of the Azerbaijani Carpets and National Applied Art State Museum on August 26, 2014 on the boulevard, with the participation of President Ilham Aliyev should be specifically noted. This contributes to the promotion and demonstration of the Azerbaijani carpets and the museum holds unique architectural features.
President of Heydar Aliyev Foundation, UNESCO and ISESCO Goodwill Ambassador, Mehriban Aliyeva’s role in the development and promotion of Azerbaijani culture and carpet weaving is noteworthy. Carpet exhibitions organized within the framework of Azerbaijani culture and art days in the capital cities of Great Britain, France and Russia (London, Paris, Moscow) to honor the 20 year anniversary of the Azerbaijan State Independence under the leadership of Mehriban Aliyeva gained huge fame. All these confirmed the inclusion of the Azerbaijani carpet onto the Representative List of Intangible Cultural Heritage of UNESKO on November 16, 2010.
Programs on the development of the private sector to secure the successful activity of businessmen in the Republic were adopted and a number of decrees were signed. "Azer-Ilme" is also one of these institutions that were formed and developed on this ground. Esteemed Art Worker of the Republic of Azerbaijan, Doctor of Philosophy in History, Professor, Vidadi Muradov was successful to establish an organization unique the Transcaucasia that continues on the Azerbaijani carpet weaving traditions.
Our goal and intention is to achieve the proper promotion of Azerbaijani carpets through restoring their almost forgotten designs, keeping the artistic traditions of our national carpets alive and handing them down to future generations, while organizing their trade at an international level.
Currently, with 300 staff members consisting of professional carpet artists, master weavers, restorers and dyers, professional teachers, and weavers from different districts of the republic all working in cooperation, the "Azer-Ilme" team continues its productive and creative research. Carpets we wove were exhibited in Atlanta, USA in 1997, Hanover, Germany in 1999, and Moscow, the capital of the Russian Federation, in 2003. They are the ambassadors and representatives of Azerbaijan in museums and private collections in the USA, Germany, France, Turkey, Russia, Australia, Japan, Switzerland, Italy, Norway, South Africa and other countries. "Azer-Ilme" produces both wool and silk, high density, originally-designed and colorful carpets on the basis of the traditional compositions of Baku, Gazakh-Borchali, Iravan, Nakhchivan, Karabakh, Ganja, Guba, Tabriz, and Shirvan carpet group. "Azer-Ilme" has been awarded the "Ugur" (Success) Caspian Energy International Award, the Queen Victoria Commemorative Medal, the European Quality Award, and the Brand of the Year award.
The road "Azer-Ilme" travels could be described as "years of creativity." Although the notions "company" and "creativity" don’t usually sit together, "Azer-Ilme" has been able to successfully defeat this obstacle. Its work, carried out over the years, proves that a carpet woven isn’t the entirety of its existence. Conducting research, finding the masters of this work, and studying their compositions and patterns is all very important. One of the advanced features of the company, which has established and expanded its creativity on this basis, is its involvement in the centuries-old history of Azerbaijani carpets in fundamental scientific research. This was both a necessity and a difficulty, having been waiting to be studied for years. The research carried out by "Azer-Ilme" filled this gap in science. As a result of their research and complex investigations, conducted under the leadership of V.Muradov, the following books have been published: "Azerbaijani Carpets" in Azerbaijani, Russian and English in 2008, "Azerbaijani Carpets: Karabakh Group" in Azerbaijani, Russian and English in 2010; "Azerbaijani Carpets: Iravan Group," "Azerbaijani Carpets: Karabakh Group," "Azerbaijani Carpets: Tabriz Group," and "Azerbaijani Carpets: Shirvan Group," in Azerbaijani, Russian, English, German, French, and Arabic in 2011; "Azerbaijani Carpets: Nakhchivan Group," "Azerbaijani Carpets: Guba Group," "Azerbaijani Carpets: Baku Group," "Azerbaijani Carpets: Ganja Group," and "Azerbaijani Carpets: Gazakh-Borchali Group" in 2012; "Azerbaijani Carpet Weaving Art," and "Azerbaijani Carpets: Tabriz Group" in Azerbaijani, German, Italian, Turkish, English, Russian, Hebrew, and French in 2013; and a brochure called "Carpet Weavers of Gazakh-Borchali District" in Azerbaijani, English and Russian in 2014, along with the "Iravan Carpets" brochure in Russian and English, "Iravan region of Azerbaijan: history and carpets" (monographia) in 2015, "The history of carpet weaving in Karabakh region" in Azerbaijani, English and Russian in 2016. These publications were distributed to international museums and libraries.
"Azer-Ilme" has aired on both local and international TV channels with scientific programs providing interesting news backed up by years-long research and vast experience. The idea of producing TV programs under the title "Azerbaijani Carpets with All Their Groups" is original in style in terms of its artistic-aesthetic production, and the series is still being created by "Azer-Ilme." "Azerbaijani Carpets: Iravan Group," "Azerbaijani Carpets: Karabakh Group," "Azerbaijani Carpets: Nakhchivan Group," "Azerbaijani Carpets: Gazakh-Borchali Group," and "Azerbaijani Carpets: Ganja Group", TV, “Harmony of colors” documentaries have already been released.
Time changes and so do humans and their tastes. However, there are some values that stay the same, preserving their relevance and importance for all time and place. One example is carpets. Our carpets are able to follow the pulse of each period of time, keeping up with the trend and protecting their beauty and purity, even in the face of hostility. "Azer-Ilme" appreciates its responsibilities including expanding artistic opportunities in order to protect the purity, beauty, history, and integrity of Azerbaijani carpets. Earning the trust of the people and the government and staying true to the moral and ethical principles of Azerbaijani carpet weaving are the purpose and principles that direct "Azer-Ilme." "Azer-Ilme" will continue to live and create by these principles, contributing to the development of our native Azerbaijan.