In Turkmenistan, Ashgabat’s Carpet Museum boasts over 2,000 ancient rugs, including a stunning wine-coloured carpet spanning more than 300 m². This is an impressive size for a carpet and has earned it a Guinness World Record title.
The carpet is one of the main attractions at the museum, which is also home to ancient rugs used to cover horses and camels, together with carpet bags used as furniture by nomadic tribes in Turkmenistan.
According to museum guide Gulshirin Amanmuhammedova, in old times, people stored dishes, salt and other items in such bags. There are also large decorative bags, called ‘chuval’, which were used to store clothes.
In addition to being stored in the museum, ancient carpets are also renovated there. With the aid of a microscope, threads and needles, carpet weavers give them a second life.
According to restorer Ogulsapar Charybaeva,“It’s much more difficult to restore an old carpet than to weave a new one. It takes just two days to weave 10 cm, but ten days to restore it.”
So far, 300 ancient rugs have been renovated at the museum, most of which are on display for visitors to admire.