This Tekke Germesch is extremely finely woven. With 45 knots per cm2 (450,000 knots per square metre), it is one of the finest Turkmen weavings known. The whites are all cotton, while there are small amounts of cochineal silk in the border and in the lower dark blue elem motifs. The ground of the elem and various details knotted from undyed brown wool have a raised effect.
A similar example, which appears to be stylistically later, can be seen on plate 35 in Hoffmeister’s “Turkmen Carpets” and surprisingly carbon dates to 1489-1605 AD (58.6%) / 1613-1668 AD (40%). This Germech dates back to before 1800. It is difficult to convey the size of this piece in a picture because it is only 70 cm wide. The double ram’s horn border on three sides is tiny and only as wide as a 10 cent (euro) coin.
It is conceivable that this was made as a dowry piece with the symbolic function of providing protection from the outside world. In any case, Germech are believed to have hung as door skirts beneath the ensi. This piece belongs to a small, elite group of Turkmen trappings that comfortably pre-date 1800.
Tekke Germech, Turkmenistan
Property of Andy Lloyd, UK
Age: before 1800
Format: 70 x 25 cm (approx. 2‘ 4“ x 10“)
Knot density: 45 knots / cm2
Condition: cleaned, unrestored