The textile sector is an old branch of the Armenian economy with a rich history. As early as the old ages, Armenia was famous for its production of naturally dyed yarns and delicate fabrics. Handmade carpets and rugs were an important element of the interior design of homes, used to decorate floors, adorn walls, and separate rooms.
Carpet making was one of the ancestral occupations among women in Armenia who passed their skills to young girls. In the nineteenth century, Armenian women commonly practiced rug weaving—seen as pious work—especially in the villages, where every home contained a weaving loom. One of the most characteristic motifs of the earliest surviving rugs is the vishapagorg (dragon-rug), a design traced back to the fifteenth century.
Another significant use of fabrics and yarns was Armenian taraz (traditional dress). Unlike carpets and rugs, the patternmakers of tarazes were men. Tarazes’ fabric, colors, designs, and embellishments depended on geographical region and the status of those who wore it—royal, urban, peasant, and religious.
Although now Armenians do not wear tarazes in everyday life, the tradition of textile and sewing is kept and passed through generations. Modern ateliers have emerged based on this knowledge, where the national dress is evoked through more contemporary expressions.