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Afghan Rugs

For a traditional touch in a modern home, Afghan rugs complement almost any decor and blend in with their vibrant and neutral colour schemes. These rugs are a great way to introduce a bit of history into your living room.

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Afghan Rugs and Their History

Afghan rugs or carpets are hand-woven rugs traditionally made in Northern and Western Afghanistan, mostly by nomadic Turkmen tribes. 

Afghan rugs can easily be recognised by their geometric patterns and most prevalent is the “Afghan Bokhara.” Characterised by a Gül motif,  these large, quartered octagons are generally displayed in columns or rows, framed within a border and are sometimes referred to as “elephant’s foot.” 

Afghan Rug Materials

Afghanistan rugs are similar in colour, design and weave to the tribal weavings of Central Asia. 

Depending on the weave, these carpets can range between being coarse and fine in quality. Among them are felted wool rugs, flat fabric woven rugs, pile and knotted rugs made of wool, cotton, and silk; each of which takes six to nine months to complete. 

Afghan Rug Weaving Techniques

These durable rugs are all handmade by Turkmen weavers who knot the material (either wool or silk) around the thread of the foundation using a number of different knots. 

Each rug is woven to a specific design, whether it is one copied from an intricate design plate or one that is inspired by the weaver. Once each row of knots is complete, they are tied individually using different colours of wool to form patterns. Weft strands are then tightly woven between warp strands so that each knot is firmly fixed. 

A rug can sometimes take years to complete, ensuring each piece is an individual work of art that is not only stunning but practical and extremely durable too.

Afghan Rug Designs

There is no question that Afghan rugs are some of the finest in the world today. Every piece is exclusively designed and unique, with its own individual colour scheme.

Many Afghan rugs feature bold, geometric and tribal patterns dominated by Gül, which is a group of octagonal or star shapes woven in rows and columns. These are then framed by thick borders surrounding all 4 sides of the rug and made up of contrasting patterns.

Afghan Rug Sizing

Afghan weavers were nomadic tribal people who constantly travel from one place to another which means many of their looms were fairly portable. This means the rug sizes of Afghan weavings are generally smaller and these rugs are limited in their availability.

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