The rug, the foremost ancient form of weaving, has occupied an important place in the culture of the Armenian people. In Armenia the oldest woven rugs have been unearthed from the burial sites at Artik and Karmir Blur. Armenia contained all the necessary raw materials for the creation of rugs: wool and natural dyes, such as alizarin (or madder) and the famous vordan karmir, capable of producing a variety of hues. During the Middle Ages, Armenian rugs enjoyed great fame in international markets. The weavers of Caesaria, Sebastia, New Julfa, Lvov, Vaspurakan, Goghtn, Artsakh, Sunik, Kars, and the weaving centers of the Ararat Plain wove the widely acclaimed Armenian rugs. Armenian rugs have been distinguished by their rich decorations, strong expressive colors, and delicate weave. Select samples of these rugs are now preserved in museums throughout the world.
The foremost group among Armenia rugs are the so called "dragon rugs" which, as the name suggests, were adorned with magnificent dragons. The oldest known dragon rug dates from the fifteenth century, which was probably the beginning of the most brilliant era of Armenian rug weaving. In addition to the dragon rugs, Armenian weavers developed other types of rugs - including the so-called "gohar" rugs, eagle rugs, and serpent rugs. Armenian rugs are classified as well according to their regions of manufacture: Artsakh, Aghdznik, Vaspurakan, Sunik, Sebastia, Lori, Shirak, Gugark, Goghtn, Caesaria, and so on. In the earliest rugs, one band basically formed the weaving frame. Later, Armenians adopted a three-band framing style. Red is of central importance in the rugs color combinations. Its different hues blend with knots created in blue, green, yellow, white, and chestnut colored threads. The art of rug weaving is a unique creative process in which countless variants are created from a given national baseline. Eighteenth century Armenian rugs and travel rugs woven in Artsakh occupy a special place in the collection of the St. Echmiadzin Monastery.