The museum opened on 24 October 1994. It has the largest collection of Turkmen carpets of any museum.It has a rich collection of Turkmen carpets from the medieval through to the 20th century, including over 1000 carpets from the 18th and 19th centuries. Aside from its extensive collection of antique carpets, it has many carpet articles, chuvals, khurjuns, torba etc. On the first floor of the museum are Tekke and Sarik carpets. The museum is noted for its huge Tekke carpets. One Tekke carpet measures 193m² and weighs a metric tonne and was made by some 40 people in 1941 to make a curtain for the Bolshoi Theater in Moscow. Another, made in 2001, is even larger, measuring 301m² and 14 by 21.2 meters and was made to commemorate 10 years of Turkmen independence from the Soviet Union. It is recognized by the Guinness World Records as the largest hand-woven carpet in the world. One carpet, made in 1968, is representative of all the tribes in Turkmenistan, fusing together the different styles to display unity. The museum also has carpets dedicated to President Niyazov. Some of the carpets on display are two-sided, often featuring different design on each side.