Welcome visitor you can login or create an account.

How to Identify Traditional Afghan Rugs

How does one identify a carpet as an authentic Afghan rug? If they came from Afghanistan originally, where are they made now and most importantly, where can you source one? Well, you’re certainly in the right place to buy, so let’s focus on the history, characteristics and the key styles to look out for in the traditional Afghan rug.

Rugs from Afghanistan have retained their popularity within the Afghan community both in the East and having emigrated over time, now also in the West. They have become an increasingly desirable home furnishing worldwide due to their intricacy, timelessness, and richness in Afghan history and heritage. 

Similar to the Persian, the Afghan rug derives its name from its now unsettled provenance, Afghanistan. Traditionally made by Turkmen weavers in Northern Afghanistan, many of the Afghan rugs available on the market today are woven by Afghan refugees who now live in Pakistan. 

Over one million Afghans, including hundreds of thousands of rug-weavers, fled Afghanistan during its war with the Soviet Union and subsequent civil war, settling predominantly in Pakistan and Iran. It is a somewhat encouraging thought, however, that to be investing in authentic Afghan rugs is providing work and a living to those who’ve been forced to flee a war-torn country. 

Traditional Afghan rugs are wool-on-wool products, usually with a repetitive octagonal pattern as part of a deep red field. These octagonal figures, commonly known as an ‘elephant’s foot’ but correctly named ‘guls’ or ‘göls’, have over the years, shrunk in size in comparison to the overall dimensions of the rug. Originally guls would have been fifteen inches or so wide, however, in the way that all fashions alter over time, smaller guls, often no more than several inches wide, are now more desirable. 

The range of colours has also decreased and authentic Afghan rugs can be identified more easily today, as they only have two predominantly used colours; a powerful red and very deep, almost black, blue.

Rugs from Afghanistan can usually be divided into two types, Turkman carpets and Baluchi carpets, both of which are commonly woven on small looms and traditionally produced to adorn the tents in which the weavers lived in. They’re made up of Persian knots and feature vegetable-dyed hand spun Afghan wool. Taking six to nine months to make and made up of wool, cotton, and silk, authentic Afghan rugs are unique in every aspect of their design.

So, for the less carpet-savvy eye or the amateur rug-investor, the easiest way to identify traditional Afghan rugs is to look out for the octagonal motifs, bright reds, and dark blues. 

Browse our great range of traditional Afghan rugs here.

Posted On: 19/09/2017

Comments (0)

Write Comment
Your Name:


Comment: Note: HTML is not translated!

Enter the code in the box below: