The term Armenian carpet designates, but is not limited to, tufted rugs or knotted carpets woven in Armenia or by Armenians from pre-Christian times to the present. It also includes a number of flat woven textiles. The term covers a large variety of types and sub-varieties. Due to their intrinsic fragility, almost nothing survives--neither carpets nor fragments--from antiquity until the late medieval period.
Traditionally, since ancient times the carpets were used in Armenia to cover floors, decorate interior walls, sofas, chairs, beds, and tables. Up to the present, the carpets often serve as entrance veils, decoration for church altars and vestry. Developed in Armenia as a part of everyday life, carpet weaving was a must in every Armenian family, with carpet making and rug making being almost solely a woman's occupation.
Armenian carpets are unique "texts" composed of ornaments wherein sacred symbols reflect the beliefs and religious notions of the ancient ancestors of the Armenians from the depth of centuries. Armenian carpet and rug weavers strictly preserved these traditions.
The imitation and presentation of one and the same ornament-ideograms in an unlimited number of the variations of styles and colors contain the basis for the creation of any new Armenian carpet. In this regard, the characteristic trait of Armenian carpets is the triumph of the variability of ornaments that is increased by a wide gamut of natural colors and tints.