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A Caucasus creation, Soumak. Originating in the Caucasus Mountain Region near the Caspian Sea in what many experts believe to be the small Azerbaijan village of Shemakha, Soumak rugs are thought to be one of the oldest known weaving techniques in the world. Long before this sturdy, flat, herringbone stitch was ever used in rug making, weaving nomads applied it to oversized saddlebags to help transport possessions during their travels. Original designs were composed of heavy geometric patterns and local tribal motifs in deep earthen shades. Present-day construction techniques remain the same with the addition of a hand-spun wool fiber, but the harsh geometric and tribal elements have been replaced with subdued, organic arrangements in muted shades of natural elements.