Both knotted and flat-weave carpets are produced in Azerbaijan. Flat-weave types such as palas, jejim, kilim, shadda, verni, zili, and sumakh are much older than the knotted carpets, and are prized for their traditional patterns and vivid contrasting colours. The region of Absheron in particular was famous for its wool and its natural dyes. Saffron was used for orange, madder for red, fig leaves for ochre, and pomegranate skin for a beautiful rust colour.
Knotted carpets were often produced in workshops that served wealthy patrons, and incorporated motifs designed by the leading artists of the time, whose reputations were established in other media such as manuscript illumination and miniature painting. The density of the knots tied by the weavers even allowed them to include verses by famous Azeri poets such as Nizami, written in a delicate Persian calligraphy. There are four main types of Azeri knotted carpet, named according to the areas in which they are woven: Kuba-Shirvan, Ganja-Kazakh, Garabakh, and Tabriz.
The names given to carpets and textiles are usually derived from their place of origin, and throughout the various regions of Azerbaijan the art of weaving is sti]l alive today. Whether they employ the inherited motifs of tribal or of courtly life, contemporary weavers provide an essential link between the modern world and the great cultural achievements of the past.