| Afghanistan is one of the
leading manufacturers of
quality handmade carpets(rugs) in the
world. We lie at the heart of the belt of carpet producing
countries that stretches from China to Morocco.
centuries, we have absorbed the influences of many of these
countries' carpet and textile traditions to develop a rich and
diverse indigenous carpet sector.
More than just interiors
items, carpets(rugs) are a part of
our national identity.
Though Afghanistan produces a
great variety of carpets(rugs), there are two very broad
categories into which the majority fit.
1. Traditional production
These are carpets(rugs) that
buyers who have been in the industry for many years will often
associate with Afghanistan. They tend to be red or burgundy
based, with geometric motifs that originated from Turkmen tribes
who live in the north of the country.
In this category are
carpets(rugs) such as Fil pai ('Elephants foot'), Mauri, Zaher
Shahi and Khoja Roshnai. It also includes a more recent carpet,
the Khal Mohamadi, renowned for its unique dying method.
These carpets(rugs) are typically woven with
asymmetrical knots, using either chemical or natural/vegetable
2. Recent production
During the past almost 3
decades of conflict in Afghanistan, a great number of Afghans
moved to Pakistan, where they lived as refugees. In the refugee
camps of Pakistan, many continued to weave carpets(rugs),
relying on them as their sole source of family income.
It was in these camps that a
number of innovations took place. New designs were introduced,
drawing on influences from other parts of the world, and soft
toned natural/vegetable dyes were revived. Turkmen motifs were
replaced by a range of very different patterns: curvilinear
floral designs, tribal Kazakh patterns, as well more modern
In this category are
carpets(rugs) such as Chobis (or Chob Rung, meaning 'wood
color', referring to the use of natural dyes), Zigglers,
Kazakhs, and Gabbehs.
What all Afghan carpets(rugs) have in common is that they are
made by crafts people, men and women, who have a deeply
entrenched love and appreciation for the product. This
translates into the selection of only the highest quality wool -
much of it from the famous Ghazni province in central
Afghanistan, care and attention in weaving, and dedication to
detail in finishing.