National Applied Arts and Crafts of Uzbekistan
Long ago, one of the rulers of Margilan, who had four wives, decided to marry for the fifth time. He fell in love with the young beautiful daughter of an artist. The artist became upset with the Khan's intentions and asked him to change his mind. The Khan promised to give up only if the artist could produce something more beautiful than his daughter before the next morning. All night the artist was in despair. He spent this time without food, dreamless, not saying a single word. At dawn he went out and sat by a stream. At that very moment he saw a reflection of the clouds and all the colors of the rainbow in the water. He was struck with the fantastic idea of copying the beauty he had seen on fabric. And this he did! A small piece of cloth was brought to the Khan. The Khan was surprised, as he had never seen anything more beautiful. The Khan accepted this artistic pattern, and dropped his proposal to marry the artist's daughter. Following the event, the cloth was called "Khan-Atlas" as it had been invented specially for the Khan.
It is no exaggeration to say that Turkmen carpets have always been considered the best. In ancient times, pure woolen Parphian carpets were highly valued. They were brought to world markets by the Great Silk Road, which ran through the territory of modern Turkmenistan. During archeological excavations fragments of carpets made about 2000 years ago have been discovered. The Venetian medieval merchant, Marco Polo, rapturously wrote that Turkmen carpets were the thinnest and the most beautiful in the world. This quality is what Turkmen carpets are still famous for. Suffice it to say that they are in great demand in more than 50 countries. Recognized as unique works of art, are the carpets called Turkmen Kalby made by Turkmen carpet makers. Their size is 193 square meters.
Besides the carpets themselves, since time immemorial Turkmen carpet makers have made various articles of carpet material. These are "chuval" for storing clothes and household utensils; bags of different sizes called "torba", for example, "gazan torba" for caldrons, "chanak torba" for wooden tableware and kitchen utensils, and "chemchi torba" or "duz torba" for salt; the traveler's bag "hurdjun" to be fixed to the saddles of horsemen; and door curtains called "gapylyk". Articles made of carpet fabric decorated the graceful Turkmen horses and camels during holiday rides. These were the horse cloth "at-haly" and saddle carpet "aerlik", camel attire for wedding rides.