Artist Profiles


Zafar Sattarov


South and Central Asia





Medium of Work:

Kilim hand woven wool rugs

Year(s) Attended:

Santa Fe: 2016, 2017, 2018


Geometrically abstract, with rows of meticulously designed, multi-hued diamond shapes, Kilim carpets are highly desirable for their timeless beauty and intricate craftsmanship. Uzbek artisan Zafar Sattarov is a master of Kilim weaving, a skill he inherited from his family. In the middle of the twentieth century, his grandparents, both descended from long lines of semi-nomadic sheep herders, settled in Samarkand City, Uzbekistan. Sattarov’s grandmother suggested they start weaving Kilim-style rugs in order to provide income; the family soon found regional and far-away customers adored their work, and it has been a means of making a living for generations of Sattarovs.

Sattarov’s weaving studio is in the heart of Samarkand City. Here, he employs dozens of artisans to create Kilim rugs. Often with deep red, dark orange, or rich purple as predominant colors, Sattarov’s rugs are both traditional and distinctive. Wool used is very fine, soft, and long-fibered, thanks to the mountain-raised sheep from whom Sattarov gets his material. After it’s washed and dried, artisans make threads and dye them with natural pigments. Thread is then woven on traditional looms in a time-consuming, highly technical process.

Bukhara and Samarkand City are the biggest textile-making centers in Uzbekistan. For centuries, Kilim carpets have acted as beloved centerpieces of a room. Beyond functional home décor, today Zafar Sattarov’s clients—both regional and abroad—also hang rugs from their walls, as beautifully unique pieces of art. No matter what its purpose, a Kilim from Sattarov is meant to be treasured for many years to come.