Afghan Rugs

Guide to Afghan Rugs & Carpets

Afghanistan opened to the western world in the 1960s and 70s and then the Russians invaded in 1979. Change started and by the 1980s and 90s entirely different rugs were seen.

We still see the traditional Afghan rugs like the 3' by 5' Andkhoy Turkmen Rugn (see below) but we began to see drastically different rugs like the Afghan Kazak below.

afghan kazak

Rugs like that were never seen in the 1970s but by the 1990s they became a significant part of the production.

Afghan Beaded Bag:

This is a Baluch Band with blue Herati glass beads from the Thea Sand Collection. The webbing is particularly interesting since it is bart lue and part baluch olive green.
This is a Baluch Mirrored Bag from the Thea Sand Collection. It is fitted together from a number of embroidered pieces. Thea is assembling a collection of small embroidered women's items.

Carpet weaving in Afghanistan is gaining importance as the country seeks to regain normalicy after more than 25 years of conflict. Here we see an interesting shift from traditional Afghan work. The rug is silk pile on cotton. It looks as if the knot count will be 150 to 200 kpsi. This is not very fine for a silk rug but when you look at the size of the knotys in the picture below it should make a good servicable rug. The big departure is that the women are tying symetrical knots with Tabrizi hooks. The Tabrizi hook or knife is a blade with a long hook on the end. This innovation is imported from Tabriz and it allows weavers to tie 20 to 30 percent faster.

Silk Rugs in a Kabul Workshop 2007:

Silk Rugs in a Kabul Workshop 2007

The Afghan Women’s Business Federation (AWBF) has created the new women’s rights certification trademark brand called “AfghanMarkSM” which is a brand label that will be carried on future exported carpets made by Afghan women who are employed by the women-owned or women-managed carpet-making businesses that are members of the Afghan Women’s Business Federation of Afghanistan.  This is a major humanitarian, educational and business development breakthrough by Afghan women for Afghan women in the post-Taliban era of Afghanistan’s history.

Afghan Kazak

Up until recently Afghan rugs tended to be loose floppy unsophisticated village rugs. Then in the last 20 years better made rugs often in Caucasian designs began to show up in the market. These are often called Afghan Kazaks or Khargai rugs. Afghan Kazak is obvious, it means an Afghan rug often in Caucasian design. Khargai refers to the new looms made out of steel. Better looms allow weavers to weave better rugs.

The primary weaving groups of Afghanistan:

Pashtun: Over the last 130 years there has been a concerted effort by the various central Governments in Afghanistan to move the Pashtuns of the South into the north. This has been done to weaken other ethnic groups in Afghanistan and consolidate the hold of the Pashtuns on the country as a whole. This has resulted in encouraging weaving among the Pashtun who in their historic lands are not rug weavers. A good example of Pashtun pile rug weaving is the rugs of Cicaktu.

Examples:

Afghan Taimani rug

Afghan Taimani rug

This is an example of a group of rugs that I saw in the market in the 1990s. In the Baluch Group but these were coarse with longer than average pile. I believe that the white, tan and brown wool was undyed. The group I saw were brittle and most of them had splits. I am not sure if that was the group I saw or if it is characteristic of Taimani Rugs.

closeup


Afghan Beaded Bag


Baluch Group Bag

Baluch Group Bag

This is an Afghan Baluch bag that I saw in the 1990s. It is a sort of Balisht but different than what I saw in the market. It was a mixture of weft faced brocade and twinning.


Hazara Kilim

Hazara Kilim

This is a nice example a Hazara Kilim from Northern Afghanistan.


Mashwani Mafrash

Mashwani Mafrash

Typically dark but with an amazing amount of fine detail work. The wool is thick large diameter fibers that tend to be a little bristly to touch. There appear to be a number of groups that are called Mashwani. These are from Western Afghanistan south of Herat.


Flatwoven Baluchi Bag

Flatwoven Baluchi Bag


Cuchi Kilim Neo Tocharian

Cuchi Kilim Neo Tocharian

These are fairly rare and periodically show up in the Ghazni market place in Afghanistan. In the trade they are attributed to the Cuchi Pashtuns and I see these weavers as descendents of ancient Tokharians. The line of descent would be Tocharian, Wu Chi/ Yu Chi, Gandaharans, and today in the Pashtun group.


Baluch Prayer Rugs, late 20th century

Baluch Prayer Rugs late 20th century

In the Baluch group there is a certain sameness while at the same time boundless diversity. Prayer rugs are popular so in the late twentieth century the weavers experimented with a wide range of styles. These are samples of what I saw.


Afghan multi-niche prayer rug

Afghan multi-niche prayer rug

Afghan multi-niche prayer rug, probably south-west Afghanistan about 1950, 7ft.4in. x 4ft.9in. 2.24m. x 1.45m.


Afghan Sumac and Pile Runner

Afghan Sumac and Pile Runner

Afghan Sumac and Pile Runner 2

This is a new style runner where the design is in pile and the oatmeal colored field is sumac. This Runner is attractive and utilitarian and will stand up to years of heavy use.

Color is difficult over the internet, please use the Direct Scan below for the best representation of color in this rug.

Afghan Kazak Runner. Afghanistan, 20th century. 3 foot by 12 foot 3 inches. (Not including fringe)

Structure: Symmetrical knot. 8 knots per horizontal inch and 8.5 knots per vertical inch. 68 per square inch (1054 per square decimeter). Slightly depressed back.

Yarn Spin: Z.

Warp: 3 ply wool, tan.

Weft: 2 cord white cotton.

Pile: 2 Wool singles.

Ends: 3 inch plain weave, twining, and warp fringe.

Selvages: 3 cord selvage wool black outer cord and blue and red checkerboard

Further Notes: New Rug. No holes, tears, rips or low spots.

This piece has very subtle use of color and it is hard to show on a computer screen. The guard borders are brown and blue and it takes a very sophisticated color card to show the colors. With a 6 mg or higher color card you should see it but with an average card like a 2 or a 4 mg it will look black. I wish all computers were built to the same video standard it would make these pictures easier to standardize.


Afghan Rugs: Late 20th century. Ersari Turkmen with Overlay Brocade Skirts

Afghan Rugs: Late 20th century. Ersari Turkmen with Overlay Brocade Skirts

Afghan Rugs: Late 20th century. Ersari Turkmen with Overlay Brocade Skirts 2

New Turkmen Rug. Afghanistan, 20th century. 5 foot by 3 foot 4 inch.

Structure: Asymmetrical knot open left. 10 knots per horizontal inch and 12 knots per vertical inch. 120 per square inch (1860 per square decimeter). Depressed warps.

Yarn Spin: Z.

Warp: 2 ply wool, tan.

Weft: cotton 2 shots. blue.

Pile: 2 Wool singles.

Ends: 1 1/2 inch overlay brocade, warp fringe with twinned decorative band.

Selvages: 5 cord selvage wrapped in blue wool.

Further Notes: New rug, meaty handle, great wool. Short but thick pile.

5' by 3' 4" Ersari Turkmen

Beautiful new Ersari Turkmen rug in a detailed pattern. Very good, very fine work. Please note the white highlights in the scan. Normally a Turkmen weaver will only go to that level of effort for a very special piece or if she is a very good weaver.

Great rug, good color, excellent condition. Please note the Overlay Brocade skirts. The blue is excellent. Excellent Wool.


Afghan Baluch Rug

Afghan Baluch Rug

Afghan Baluch Rug 2

Afghan Baluch Rug

Size: 2 foot 8 inch by 4 foot 10 inch.

This is a very pretty traditional Baluch. This is a solid sturdy rug. This one is Baluch village rug from Northwest Afghanistan It is handmade, new and in excellent condition.

Size: 2 foot 9 inch by 4 foot 3 inch.

Structure: Asymmetrical knot open to the left. 8 knots per horizontal inch and 7 knots per vertical inch. 56 per square inch (868 per square decimeter)

Color: Charcoal, royal blue, red, tangerine, lemon, slate gray.

Yarn Spin: Z.

Warp: 2 ply corded tan wool.

Weft: 2 shots black, blue cotton.

Pile: 2 wool singles.

Ends: 1 inch plain weave and overhand knots with 2 inch looped warp fringe.

Selvages: 2 cord double looped black goat.

Handle: Light-medium, durable, soft.

Further Notes: Very good condition, minor wear in pile.


Afghan Ersari Main Carpet

Afghan Ersari Main Carpet

Afghan Ersari Main Carpet 2

Ersari Main Carpet 2, First half nineteenth century.

Size: Approximately 7 ft. 5 in. by 6 ft. (2.26 m. by 1.83 m.)


Afghan Kazak Copy Runner

Afghan Kazak Copy Runner

Afghan Kazak Copy Runner 2

Afghan Kazak Copy Runner 3

This is a Kazak style runner woven by a Afghan weaver. It was sold to me as vegetal dyed and there is no reason to think otherwise. I like to be cautious because people who make absolute dye attributions without chemical dye analyses sound like phonies to me, so let me say it looks vegetal. The green has lots of life and yellow highlights the yellow looks right and the white wool appears undyed. The wool quality is very high. The light plays on the wool as one expects in an older natural dyed rug. However there is no doubt that this is Afghan.

New Afghan Kazak Copy Runner. Afghanistan, 20th century. 10 foot 6 inch by 2 foot 9 inch.

Structure: Symmetrical knot. 8 knots per horizontal inch and 8 knots per vertical inch. 64 per square inch (992 per square decimeter).

Yarn Spin: Z.

Warp: 2 ply wool, gray.

Weft: white cotton.

Pile: 2 Wool singles.

Ends: 1 inch weft faced plain weave, warp fringe.

Selvages: 3 cord selvage wrapped in brown wool.

Further Notes: Supple handle, very substantial new rug. No holes, tears, rips or low spots. full pile.


Afghan Kazak Copy

Afghan Rug Kazak Copy

Afghan Rug Kazak Copy 2

This is a Kazak rug woven by a Afghan weaver. It was sold to me as vegetal dyed and there is no reason to think otherwise. I like to be cautious because people who make absolute dye attributions without chemical dye analyses sound like phonies to me, so let me say it looks vegetal. The green has lots of life and yellow highlights the yellow looks right and the white wool appears undyed. The wool quality is very high. The light plays on the wool as one expects in an older natural dyed rug. However there is no doubt that this is Afghan.

New Afghan Kazak Rug. Afghanistan, 20th century. 6 foot 3 inch by 6 foot 8 inch.

Structure: Symmetrical knot. 8 knots per horizontal inch and 12 knots per vertical inch. 96 per square inch (1488 per square decimeter).

Yarn Spin: Z.

Warp: 2 ply wool, gray.

Weft: white cotton.

Pile: 2 Wool singles.

Ends: 3/4 inch weft faced plain weave, warp fringe.

Selvages: 4 cord selvage blue and brown wool checkerboard.

Further Notes: Supple handle, very substantial new rug. Long pile, No holes, tears, rips or low spots. full pile.


1990s Farsiwan Sumac Rug

Afghan Rugs: 1990s Farsiwan Sumac Rug

Afghan Rugs: 1990s Farsiwan Sumac Rug 2

Size: 2 foot 6 inch by 3 foot 9 inch.

Structure: Sumac weave.

Color: Old ivory, dusty rose, royal blue, navy blue, onyx.

Yarn Spin: Z.

Warp: 2 ply brown wool.

Weft: Ground color.

Ends: 7 inch plain weave with floating weft section and overhand knots with 1 inch warp fringe.

Selvages: 2 cord double looped black, blue, red wool.

Handle: Light, durable, pliable.

Further Notes: Excellent condition.


3 by 5 Ersari Turkmen Rug

3 by 5 Ersari Turkmen Rug

3 by 5 Ersari Turkmen Rug 2

3 by 5 Charshangho Turkmen Rug

This is an attractive well madeAfghan rug made by Turkmen weavers. The wool is excellent and the color is traditional. The pattern is the Charshangho pattern and is attributed to  the Charshangho. Some consider them a sub-tribe of the Ersari but George O'Bannon argued in the Turkomen Carpet that they represent a separate and distinct group. Despite O'Bannon's argument to the contrary I see the Ersari as an uruk which would make the Charshangho a Soy of the Ainul Ghazi Arps. I learned a good bit from H.B. Paksoy's help in understanding tribal structure:

uruk > oymak > arþs > soy > tire > ara

"It has a defined set of steps. An uruk is comprised of oymak, which are made up of aris, a composition of soy, itself a subdivided into tire, constituted by ara. Paksoy, Basmachi

I believe that this is one of the oldest designs of the Turkmen.

Charshangho style Turkmen Rug. Afghanistan or the NWFP, 20th century

Size: 3 foot 3 inch by 4 foot 11 inch.

Structure: Asymmetrical knot open to the right.  9 knots per horizontal inch and 9 knots per vertical inch. 81 per square inch (1255.5 per square decimeter)

Yarn Spin: Z.

Warp: 2 ply gray wool.

Weft: 2 shots red wool.

Pile: 2 wool singles.

Ends: 1 inch plain weave and overhand knots with 3 inch warp fringe.

Selvages: 4 cord reinforced burgundy wool.

Handle: Light, durable, pliable.

Further Notes: Excellent condition.


Afghan Akstafa Caucasian copy

Afghan Akstafa Caucasian copy

Afghan Akstafa Caucasian copy 2

Akstafa Caucasian copy

2 foot 11 inches by 8 foot 8 inches.

This is a very attractive Afghan Akstafa Caucasian copy in a smaller size. Most of these rugs are room size and we look for nice examples in the more traditional sizes. Jodi always spots these rugs when we get a shipment. We put one of these in the playroom for the boys because it is a nice bright cheerful rug and Mickey enjoys crawling on it. He is really fighting to catch up with big brother Maxwell. The way he is going he will be walking in no time. But for now the very good wool in these rugs feels good to touch so he likes it.

This is a copy of a Akstafa pattern interpreted and woven by an Afghan weaver. It was sold to me as vegetal dyed and there is no reason to think otherwise. I like to be cautious because without chemical testing dye analysis is just a guess, so let me say it looks vegetal. I really feel that with these rugs when they tell me it is vegetal dye it really means it is a better rug made to a higher standard than usual and not an exact description of all the dyes used.

How We Select Our Rugs

Sorry for the crooked picture. The rug really is square.

Color is difficult over the internet, please use the Direct Scan below for the best representation of color in this rug.

Akstafa Caucasian copy. Afghanistan, 20th century. 4 foot 7 inches by 4 foot 6 inches. (Not including fringe)

Structure: Symmetrical knot. 8 knots per horizontal inch and 13 knots per vertical inch. 104 per square inch (1612 per square decimeter). Slightly depressed back.

Yarn Spin: Z.

Warp: 2 ply wool, brown.

Weft: 2 shot brown wool.

Pile: 2 Wool singles.

Ends: 1/2 inch weft faced plain weave, warp fringe.

Selvages: 2 cord selvage wrapped with red wool.

Further Notes: New Condition. No holes, tears, rips or low spots. full pile.

This rug has beautiful vegetal colors with a tea wash and some abrash. The wool is soft and feels great. This is a bold and attractive rug that will give years of service.

Great Color, Wonderful Wool!


Afghan Kazak Copy

Afghan Kazak Copy

Afghan Kazak Copy 2

Afghan Kazak Copy

This is a Kazak rug woven by a Afghan weaver. It was sold to me as vegetal dyed and there is no reason to think otherwise. I like to be cautious about absolute dye attributions without chemical dye analyses, so let me say it looks vegetal. The green has lots of life and yellow highlights the yellow looks right and the white wool appears undyed. The wool quality is very high. The light plays on the wool as one expects in an older natural dyed rug. However there is no doubt that this is Afghan.

New Afghan Kazak Copy Rug. Afghanistan, 20th century. 7 foot 5 inch by 5 foot 10 inch.

Structure: Symmetrical knot. 7 knots per horizontal inch and 9 knots per vertical inch. 63 per square inch (975 per square decimeter).

Yarn Spin: Z.

Warp: 3 ply wool, white.

Weft: 2 ply wool, red.

Pile: 2 Wool singles.

Ends: 1 inch weft faced plain weave, warp fringe.

Selvages: 3 cord selvage wrapped in brown wool.

Further Notes: Meaty handle, long pile, very substantial new rug. No holes, tears, rips or low spots. full pile.

Light blue, dark blue, and blue green as well as very good greens really set this rug off. The reds stand out well but this scan scans dark and is hard to color balance.


Afghan Rug "Kazak" Style

Afghan Rug "Kazak" Style

Afghan Rug "Kazak" Style 2

6 by 8 Veg Dye Afghan Kazak

This is one of the most visual striking pieces of the new Afghan production that I have seen. This is a very nice Afghan copy of a Caucasian design. This a very attractive rug with a bright tasteful color scheme.

In the trade these are called Veg Dye which is short for vegetal dyed rugs or Afghan Kazak. You really cannot say these are completely vegetal dye without a chemical dye analyses. However what we do know is that this is a better type of rug made with better dyes and it looks and wears better than what they produced even a few years ago.

Color is difficult over the internet, please review the Direct Scan below for the best representation of color in this rug.

Veg Dye Afghan Carpet, Northwest Afghanistan. 20th century.

Size: 6 foot 1 inch by 8 foot 1 inch.

Structure: Symmetrical knot. 8 knots per horizontal inch and 9 knots per vertical inch. 72 per square inch (1116 per square decimeter)

Yarn Spin: Z.

Warp: 2 ply slate gray wool.

Weft: 2 shot slate gray wool.

Pile: 2 wool singles.

Ends: 2 inch plain weave with button stitch and overhand knots with 1.5 inch warp fringe.

Selvages: 4 cord reinforced amber, tan wool.

Handle: Soft, light, durable, pliable

Further Notes: Excellent condition.

One of the most difficult colors for the dyers to get right are the reds. This carpet has wonderful reds.


Andkhoy Turkmen Rug 3' by 5'

Andkhoy Turkmen Rug 3' by 5'

Andkhoy Turkmen Rug 3' by 5' 2

This is an exceptional quality Ersari Turkmen rug made by Afghans. It was sold to me as vegetal dyed and there is no reason to think otherwise. I like to be cautious because I gave one fellow hell for making absolute dye attributions without chemical dye analyses, so let me say it looks vegetal. The wool quality is very high. The key to these Veg dye rugs is not the exact dye composition but rather that these represent the best grade of production with better dyes, better wool, harmonious color combinations, and a stricter attention to quality.

Attribution is always a problem with Afghan rugs but following the clues and available information this appears to be be an Andkhoy Ersari rug. The handle of this rug is stiff and deeply depressed. The Waziri Gul uses more colors than would be expected in a Shebergan rug which is the other main place that Waziri rugs are woven so until I find a better answer Andkhoy seems a reasonable attribution.

New Turkmen Rug. Afghanistan, 20th century. 3 foot 5 inch by 5 foot.

Structure: Asymmetrical knot open left. 10 knots per horizontal inch and 15 knots per vertical inch. 150 per square inch (2325 per square decimeter). deeply depressed.

Yarn Spin: Z.

Warp: 2 ply wool, gray.

Weft: 2 shot blue wool. .

Pile: 2 Wool singles.

Ends: 1 1/2 inch warp faced plain weave, warp fringe.

Selvages: 4 cord selvage wrapped in brown wool.

Further Notes: New rug, meaty handle, great wool, No holes, tears, rips or low spots. Full pile.

The type of rug is called is called Waziri. Some folks have speculated that that means it is made by weavers in the Waziri tribe. That is rather unlikely since the Waziri do virtually no weaving and as a tribe of Southern Afghanistan who speaks a dialect of Western Pashtun have no cultural history of weaving. Another theory is that a "Wazir" or Government Official created the pattern. Whatever the truth is it is a 20th century pattern that is distinctly Afghan in origin.


Chahar Aymaq Rug

Chahar Aymaq Rug

Chahar Aymaq Rug 2

6 by 4 foot Chahar Aymaq Rug

Superior New Baluch Type.

When I go out to find rugs I try to buy the best. Of the rugs I see I spend hours grading and sorting them so that the ones I pick are superior quality. Recently I bought a few rugs that even among the best stand out as special.

I attribute this rug to the Chahar Aymaq. It looks like a better version of their work. The wool is great and the colors excellent. There is a good bit of natural colored wool.

Chahar Aymaq Rug, Northwest Afghanistan. fourth quarter twentieth century. Intact full pile rug in unused condition. 4 foot by 6 foot. (not including fringe).

Structure: Asymmetrical knot open to the left. 6.5 knots per horizontal inch and 7 knots per vertical inch. 45 per square inch (705 per square decimeter)

Yarn Spin: Z.

Warp: 2 ply Wool, tan.

Weft: Cotton, 2 shoots, blue.

Pile: 2 Wool singles.

Ends: 3/4 inch plain weave, warp fringe.

Selvages: two 2 part cord double looped with dark brown goat.

Further Notes: New condition.

This rug is very nice. It is one of the nicest new Baluch type rugs that I have seen. The wool and the colors are excellent. Note the main border that is one not often seen in this type of rug.

This rug is difficult to photograph so on some computers this will seem very dark. Check the scan for color.


Ersari Bagface mid-20th century

Ersari Bagface mid-20th century

Ersari Bagface mid-20th century 2

Ersari Bagface, Northern Afghanistan.

This is a nice Ersari bag in an unusual format. It may well have been a khorjin pannel. The design is all borders.

Ersari Bagface, Northern Afghanistan, mid-20th century.

Size: 1 foot 3 inch by 1 foot 11 inch.

Structure: Asymmetrical knot open to the left.  10 knots per horizontal inch and 11 knots per vertical inch. 110 per square inch (1705 per square decimeter)

Yarn Spin: Z.

Warp: 1 ply gray cotton

Weft: 2 shots black cotton.

Pile: 2 wool singles.

Ends: Heavy crossed wefts with .5 inch warp fringe.

Selvages: 1 cord plain black wool.

Handle: Light, soft, pliable.

Further Notes: Average condition, worn pile in dime size areas, loss of selvage in various places, selvage is pulling away from rest of rug, corners are torn.


Ersari Turkmen Bridal Trapping

Ersari Turkmen Bridal Trapping

Ersari Turkmen Bridal Trapping 2

Ersari Turkmen Bridal Trapping

This is a very nice Ersari Turkmen Bridal Trapping. This is 20th century but not a new piece. These trappings are used on the brides camel for her bridal procession.

Ersari Bridal Trapping. Turkestan, 20th century.

Size: 2 foot 5 inch by 3 foot 4 inch.

Structure: Asymmetrical knot open to the right. 8 knots per horizontal inch and 12 knots per vertical inch. 96 per square inch (1488 per square decimeter)

Yarn Spin: Z.

Warp: 2 ply wool.

Weft: 1 shot ivory wool.

Pile: 2 wool singles.

Ends: Post-hitch warp with 2 inch fringe (top), Braided black, red wool strands with applied 7 inch red, black, white tassels (bottom) .

Selvages: 2 cord attached interlaced black, red wool with applied 4 inch red, black, white tassels.

Handle: Soft, light-medium, durable

Further Notes: Good condition, some top end finish damage.

Nicely drawn with great wool, excellent color. The gray appears to be undyed


Khal Mohammadi Jewelry Rug

Khal Mohammadi Jewelry Rug

Khal Mohammadi Jewelry Rug 2

Khal Mohammadi Jewelry Rug

Did you ever see the pictures of the young Turkmen bride wearing a large amount of silver jewelry. In her society that is how wealth is stored. Think about it if you do not have access to banks then wearing your wealth is an idea. That wealth is the reserve against bad times. In case you do not read the paper bad times have come and many women sold off their treasures to feed their families but even for a good purpose it hurts to sell the treasures passed down from generation to generation. In this rug we see where a Turkmen woman has woven her treasures into the rug. The design is a new design but the treasures are Turkmen jewelry whose designs go back through the generations.

New Turkmen Rug. Pakistan, 20th century. 4 foot 10 inch by 3 foot 3 inch.

Structure: Asymmetrical knot open left. 9 knots per horizontal inch and 8 knots per vertical inch. 72 per square inch (1116 per square decimeter).

Yarn Spin: Z.

Warp: White cotton.

Weft: 2 shots Cotton, gray.

Pile: 2 Wool singles.

Ends: 1 inch warp faced plain weave, warp fringe.

Selvages: plain selvage wrapped in blue wool.

Further Notes: New rug, No holes, tears, rips or low spots.

This is a terrible picture but use it for pattern and see the above scan for color.

Bright glistening wool, great color. The rug was sold to me as vegetal dye and it has that veg dye look.


Khargai Afghan Kazak Rug

Khargai Afghan Kazak Rug

Khargai Afghan Kazak Rug 2

9' x 11' Khargai Kazak Copy

This is by far the largest Afghan Kazak copy that I have seen. When we auctioned some smaller ones of these recently Jodi and I were so pleased that we decided to get more. The quality is very good and the rugs are very attractive.

This is a copy of a Kazak pattern interpreted and woven by a Baluch weaver. It was sold to me as vegetal dyed and there is no reason to think otherwise. I like to be cautious because people who make absolute dye attributions without chemical dye analyses sound like phonies to me, so let me say it looks vegetal. The green has lots of life and yellow highlights the yellow looks right and the white wool appears undyed. The wool quality is very high. The light plays on the wool as one expects in an older natural dyed rug. However there is no doubt that this is Afghan. I really feel that with these rugs when they tell me it is vegetal dye it really means it is a better rug made to a higher standard than usual and not an exact description of all the dyes used.

These rug are attractive and utilitarian and will stand up to years of heavy use. I like it as a rug and my wife Jodi loves the way it looks, so it is a sure winner.

New Khargai Kazak Rug. Afghanistan, 20th century. 9 foot by 11 foot. 99 Square Feet.

Structure: Symmetrical knot. 10 knots per horizontal inch and 10 knots per vertical inch. 100 per square inch (1550 per square decimeter). Depressed back.

Yarn Spin: Z.

Warp: 3 ply wool, white.

Weft: 2 cord white cotton.

Pile: 2 Wool singles.

Ends: 1 inch weft faced plain weave, warp fringe.

Selvages: 2 cord selvage white cotton.

Further Notes: Meaty handle, medium length pile, very substantial new rug. No holes, tears, rips or low spots. full pile.

Light blue, dark blue, and blue green really set this rug off. Jodi really liked the wonderful Chartreuse. The reds stand out well but this scan scans dark and is hard to color balance.

The scan is a little dark and it is crooked. I really need a helper it is no small task to take a direct scan of a 9 by 11 carpet. But I do it because it gives you the best picture.


Large Afghan Veg Dye Carpet

Large Afghan Veg Dye Carpet

Large Afghan Veg Dye Carpet 2

Large Afghan Veg Dye Carpet 3

Large Afghan Veggie Dye Carpet

This carpet is brand new and is a vegetable dye Afghan. The rug is thick with deep pile and the wool quality is excellent.

It is very heavy and hard to get a good picture of so I included two scans. It is no easy trick getting a room size carpet onto a scanner but I wanted to let you see the great color.

New Vegetal Dye Rug. Afghanistan, Late 20th century. 8 foot by 9 foot 3 inch.

Structure: Asymmetrical knot. 10 knots per horizontal inch and 9 knots per vertical inch. 90 per square inch (1395 per square decimeter).

Yarn Spin: Z.

Warp: Cotton, white.

Weft: 1 shot 1 single sinuous, 1 shot 2 singles, rigid. .

Pile: 2 Wool singles.

Ends: 1 3/4 inch warp faced plain weave, warp fringe.

Selvages: 4 cord selvage wrapped in dark green wool.

Further Notes: Meaty handle, very substantial new rug.

The colors are off in this shot. The gold is too hot and the diamonds too dark. Also this piece is so heavy that it was very difficult to hold straight. The rug is rectangular and any unevenness was due to difficulty holding this piece to get a picture.


Mabasi Prison Kilim

Mabasi Prison Kilim

6' 8"by 3' 2" Mabasi Kilim

It is easy to buy very rare and highly collectable pieces if you are willing to spend a lot of money. This is one of those rare opportunities to buy a truly rare piece and I doubt it will sell for much.

This is a Kilim from Mabasi Prison in Kabul. The prisoners wove these since work was a prerequisite for eating. There are some stains but the darker spots are shadow on the Kilim.

Kilim from Mabasi Prison, Kabul, Afghanistan, 20th century. 6 foot 8 inch by 3 foot 2 inch.

Structure: Tapestry weave.

Yarn Spin: Z.

Warp: Hand woven cotton white.

Weft: Cotton ground color.

Pile: 2 Wool singles.

Ends: Warp fringe.

Selvages: 2 cords of 10 units 2 ply hand woven cotton


Memling Gul Runner

Memling Gul Runner

Memling Gul Runner 2

Afghan Memling Gul Runner

2 foot 10 inch by 9 foot 6 inches

This is a really nice Tea Washed Afghan Kazak copy. Jodi and I were so pleased with these that we decided to get more. The quality is very good and the rugs are very attractive.

This is a copy of a Memling gul pattern interpreted and woven by an Afghan weaver. It was sold to me as vegetal dyed and there is no reason to think otherwise. I like to be cautious because people who make absolute dye attributions without chemical dye analyses sound like phonies to me, so let me say it looks vegetal. I really feel that with these rugs when they tell me it is vegetal dye it really means it is a better rug made to a higher standard than usual and not an exact description of all the dyes used.

Beautiful new tea wash!

These Runners are attractive and utilitarian and will stand up to years of heavy use. I like it as a runner, and my wife Jodi loves the way these looks, so it is a sure winner.

Color is difficult over the internet, please use the Direct Scan below for the best representation of color in this rug.

Afghan Kazak Runner. Afghanistan, 20th century. 2 foot 10 inch by 9 foot 6 inches. (Not including fringe)

Structure: Symmetrical knot. 9 knots per horizontal inch and 11 knots per vertical inch. 99 per square inch (1535 per square decimeter). Slightly depressed back.

Yarn Spin: Z.

Warp: 2 ply wool, brown.

Weft: 2 shot blue wool.

Pile: 2 Wool singles.

Ends: 1/4 inch weft faced plain weave, warp fringe.

Selvages: 4 cord selvage wrapped with blue wool.

Further Notes: Medium length pile, new rug--tea washed. No holes, tears, rips or low spots. full pile.

This rug has beautiful vegetal colors with a tea wash and some abrash. The wool is soft and feels great, while the Memling guls give it a distinctive design.

Great Color, Wonderful Wool!

The almost black wool is deeply dyed indigo blue.


New Afghan Production Flower Repeat

New Afghan Production Flower Repeat

New Afghan Production Flower Repeat 2

New Afghan Production Flower Repeat

New vegetal dye Turkmen rug made by Afghans. It was sold to me as vegetal dyed and there is no reason to think otherwise. I like to be cautious because I gave one Oilville school teacher hell for making absolute dye attributions without chemical dye analyses, so let me say it looks vegetal. The wool quality is very high. The key to these Veg dye rugs is not the exact dye composition but rather that these represent the best grade of production with better dyes, better wool, harmonious color combinations, and a stricter attention to quality.

This rug is one of the most attractive that I have seen and at the same time is utilitarian so it will stand up to a great deal of heavy use. I like it as a rug and my wife Jodi loves the way it looks, so it is a sure winner.

New Turkmen Rug. Afghanistan, 20th century. 6 foot 6 inch by 4 foot 4 inch.

Structure: Asymmetrical knot open left. 9 knots per horizontal inch and 10 knots per vertical inch. 90 per square inch (1395 per square decimeter). moderately depressed.

Yarn Spin: Z.

Warp: 2 ply wool, gray.

Weft: 2 shot first one thick and straight and second thin and sinuous.

Pile: 2 Wool singles.

Ends: 1 1/2 inch warp faced plain weave, warp fringe.

Selvages: 4 cord selvage wrapped in brown wool.

Further Notes: New rug, meaty handle, great wool, No holes, tears, rips or low spots. Thick pile.

Here we see two of the very traditional borders. The larger border is called the gotshak border and it dates back to the Oghuz Confederation in the 13th century. It is visible in virtually all Turkmen weaving groups and is also seen in Turkish weaving. I feel that it was a common border to the most likely tribes of the Oguz prior to their split in the early part of this Millennia. I should note that I am not the only one to ever notice the probable origins of this border. I have been working on a theory where the Ersari are the direct successors to the Oghuz. At some point I will get around to writing it up. The other interesting border is the one with the three small boteh shapes, one yellow and two brown. That is called the Badam Guli design. I use that as a guide marker for Afghan Turkmen. I never see it in any piece except those that I attribute to Afghanistan.


New Turkmen Rug

New Turkmen Rug

New Turkmen Rug 2

3'4" by 4'10" Veg Dyed Turkmen

New vegetal dye Turkmen rug made by Afghans. It was sold to me as vegetal dyed and there is no reason to think otherwise. I like to be cautious because I gave one Oilville school teacher hell for making absolute dye attributions without chemical dye analyses, so let me say it looks vegetal. The wool quality is very high. The key to these Veg dye rugs is not the exact dye composition but rather that these represent the best grade of production with better dyes, better wool, harmonious color combinations, and a stricter attention to quality.

New Turkmen Rug. Afghanistan, 20th century. 3 foot 4 inch by 4 foot 10 inch.

Structure: Asymmetrical knot open right. 8 knots per horizontal inch and 10 knots per vertical inch. 90 per square inch (1245 per square decimeter). moderately depressed.

Yarn Spin: Z.

Warp: 2 ply wool, light gray.

Weft: 2 shot first one thick and straight and second thin and sinuous red wool.

Pile: 2 Wool singles.

Ends: 1 1/2 inch warp faced plain weave, warp fringe.

Selvages: 3 cord selvage wrapped in brown wool.

Further Notes: New rug, meaty handle, great wool, No holes, tears, rips or low spots. Thick pile.


New Vegetal Dye Ersari Turkmen rug

New Vegetal Dye Ersari Turkmen rug

New Vegetal Dye Ersari Turkmen rug 2

7 by 4 1/2 foot Veggie Dyed Turkmen Rug

New vegetal dye Turkmen rug made by Afghans. It was sold to me as vegetal dyed and there is no reason to think otherwise. I like to be cautious because I gave one school teacher hell for making absolute dye attributions without chemical dye analyses, so let me say it looks vegetal. The wool quality is very high. The key to these Veg dye rugs is not the exact dye composition but rather that these represent the best grade of production with better dyes, better wool, harmonious color combinations, and a stricter attention to quality.

This rug is attractive and utilitarian it will stand up to a great deal of heavy use. I like it as a rug and my wife Jodi loves the way it looks, so it is a sure winner.

New Turkmen Rug. Afghanistan, 20th century. 7 foot by 4 foot 6 1/2 inch.

Structure: Asymmetrical knot open left. 9 knots per horizontal inch and 10 knots per vertical inch. 90 per square inch (1395 per square decimeter). moderately depressed.

Yarn Spin: Z.

Warp: 2 ply wool, brown.

Weft: 2 ply wool 2 shots. dark brown.

Pile: 2 Wool singles.

Ends: 1 1/2 inch warp faced plain weave, warp fringe.

Selvages: 4 cord selvage wrapped in brown wool.

Further Notes: New rug, meaty handle, great wool, No holes, tears, rips or low spots. Thick pile.

Color is off here but it gives you the pattern. See the above scan for the color.

New Afghan Turkmen - Excellent Wool!


Pashtun Sleeping Rug

Pashtun Sleeping Rug

Pashtun Sleeping Rug 2

Pashtun Sleeping Rug

Late 19th early 20th century Afghanistan.

Warps: Wool or goat Z2S, white, tan, brown or black. warps inconsistent in diameter.

Wefts: winderplied wool or goat much more consistent than the warps. Pile Z2S wool and goat (the dark brown is goat).

Ends: Top 10 inches of slitweave skirt hemmed at top. Bottom Top 10 inches of slitweave skirt with warp fringe.

Sides: weft return over 2 sets of 3 heavy Z2S.

Knots: Slip loop pile, 7 knots to the square inch

This is one of 9 known examples in the world. These all apparently were bought in the market in Murkur Afghanistan which is a major market for Pashtun Nomads often called Cutchis. Similar rugs were found in the Tarim Basin Archeological digs. Those were attributed to the Tocharians. After extensive research I have come to the conclusions that the Tocharians are the ancestors of today's Pashtuns. If we follow the Tocharians through history we see that historians trace then to Gandahara in modern day Pashtunistan (land of the Pashtuns). The Pashtuns spring from nowhere in the place where the Tocharians disappeared and on the basis of this rug I feel there is a high probability that they are descendants of the Tocharians. I suspect that this will be proved on a linguistic basis unless of course we can do it by DNA matching.

This rug was bought as a present for someone who did not live long enough to see it, so let me just say it is from my personal collection.


Afghan Kazak Rug

Afghan Kazak Rug

Afghan Kazak Rug 2

This is a Kazak rug woven by an Afghan weaver. It was sold to me as vegetal dyed and there is no reason to think otherwise. I like to be cautious about absolute dye attributions without chemical dye analyses, so let me say it looks vegetal. The green has lots of life and yellow highlights and the main red is beautiful. The wool quality is very high. The light plays on the wool as one expects in an older natural dyed rug. However there is no doubt that this is Afghan.

New Afghan Kazak Rug. Afghanistan, 20th century. 5 foot 5 inch by 5 foot 11 inch.

Structure: Symmetrical knot. 8 knots per horizontal inch and 8 knots per vertical inch. 64 per square inch (992 per square decimeter).

Yarn Spin: Z.

Warp: 2 ply wool, gray.

Weft: 2 ply wool 2 shots. dark brown.

Pile: 2 Wool singles.

Ends: 3/4 inch warp faced plain weave, warp fringe.

Selvages: 3 cord selvage wrapped in red wool.

Further Notes: Supple handle, very substantial new rug. No holes, tears, rips or low spots. full pile.

This rug has gray warps which are typical of recent Afghan production and almost never seen in old Afghan pieces. After a comparison of wool samples versus the breeds common to Afghanistan I think the wool is most likely from Karakul sheep. Karakul wool makes me suspect an Uzbek origin for this rug.

The red wool 3 cord selvage is often seen in Baluch and Turkmen type rugs. These rugs are usually more square in format and tend to be well made. I understand they are made on steel looms.


Yacub Khani Rug

Yacub Khani Rug

Yacub Khani Rug 2

Yacub Khani Rug. Northwest Afghanistan

Size: 3 foot 6 inch by 6 foot 6 inch.

Structure: Asymmetrical knot open to the left. 7 knots per horizontal inch and 8 knots per vertical inch. 56 per square inch (868 per square decimeter).

Colors:  Raspberry, royal blue, burgundy, tan.

Yarn Spin: Z.

Warp: 2 ply tan wool.

Weft: 2 shot gray wool.

Pile: 2 wool singles.

Ends: 1 inch plain weave and half-hitch knots with 1 inch warp fringe.

Selvages: 2 cord double looped black goat.

Handle: Soft, light-medium, durable.

Further Notes: Excellent condition.

This is a very pretty new Yacub Khani Rug in a traditional pattern. The Yacub Khani are Timuri who returned to Afghanistan in the time of Yacub Khan. This rug is a new handmade pile rug from Afghanistan.  It is handmade and in new condition.

The physical characteristics of Yacub Khani wool are interesting. The wool has a more bristly feel than most of the wool used in Northwest Afghanistan. It is more like Mushwanni wool.


Afghan Turkoman Ersari Carpet

Afghan Turkoman Ersari Carpet

Afghan Turkoman Ersari Carpet 2

Afghan Turkoman Ersari Carpet 3

Afghan Turkoman Ersari Carpet, Northern Afghanistan, mid nineteenth century.

Size: Approximately 7 ft. 11 in. by 6 ft. 2 in. (2.41 m. by 1.88 m.)


Afghan War Rugs: Helicopters at Jam War Rug

Afghan War Rugs: Helicopters at Jam War Rug

Size: 3 foot by 4 foot 11 inches.

This is a very collectable older Baluch War Rug from a German Collection and should be of real interest to serious war rug collectors.

One of the highest minarets in the world stands in a valley on the Firoz Koh near the Hari Rud (river). It is the minaret of Jam. The local shepherds knew about the minarets but it was not popularly known until fairly recently but since it's discovery it has become an important symbol of freedom. The minaret with the two helicopters is a symbol of the Soviet war of aggression.

A number of years ago I wrote an article for Oriental Rug Review called Afghan War Rugs: If it Walks Like a Duck.... In it I broke a lot of new ground trying to attribute the various types of war rugs to where they were made. When I was writing that article there was a real question in my mind whether the Baluch weavers ever actually wove war rugs in any great numbers. Now a few years later I have come to the conclusion that during the war of Russian Aggression most of the "Baluchi" war rugs were not Baluch but that approximately 10 to 20% of them actually were.

Baluch War Rug , Northwest Afghanistan.Size: 3 foot by 4 foot 11 inches.

Structure: Asymmetrical knot open to the left 8 knots per horizontal inch and 7 knots per vertical inch.  56 per square inch

Yarn Spin: Z.

Warp: 2 ply tan wool.

Weft: 2 shots blue cotton.

Pile: 2 wool singles.

Ends: 1/2 inch plain weave.

Selvages: 2 cord double looped brown goat.

Handle: Soft, light, durable, pliable.

Further Notes: Excellent Condition.

detail Afghan War Rugs: Helicopters at Jam War Rug


Afghan War Rugs: 11 foot Cicaktu Helicopter Runner

11 foot Cicaktu Helicopter Runner

Size: 2 foot 9 inch by 11 foot 2 inch.

This is a very collectable older Baluch War Rug from a German Collection and should be of real interest to serious war rug collectors.

This rug is a longer and straighter than usual version of a Cicaktu Helicopter Runner. When the Soviets seized Afghanistan they sent planeloads of Spetznez and Paratroopers into the major airports. Then they sent their troops over the border and one of the first places ceased was Cicaktu where the Soviets set up a supply depot.

A number of years ago I wrote an article for Oriental Rug Review called Afghan War Rugs: If it Walks Like a Duck.... In it I broke a lot of new ground trying to attribute the various types of war rugs to where they were made. When I was writing that article there was a real question in my mind whether the Baluch weavers ever actually wove war rugs in any great numbers. Now a few years later I have come to the conclusion that during the war of Russian Aggression most of the "Baluchi" war rugs were not Baluch but that approximately 10 to 20% of them actually were.

How We Select Our Rugs

Color is difficult over the internet, please use the Direct Scan below for the best representation of color in this rug

Cicaktu Runner, Northwest Afghanistan. circa 1980s. Inventory # 274Size: 2 foot 9 inch by 11 foot 2 inch.

Structure: Asymmetrical knot open to the left. 9 knots per horizontal inch and 8 knots per vertical inch. 72 per square inch (1116 per square decimeter)

Yarn Spin: Z.

Warp: 2 ply tan wool.

Weft: 2 shots gray wool.

Pile: 2 wool singles.

Ends: 2 inch plain weave with floating weft sections and overhand knots with 1 inch warp fringe.

Selvages: 2 cord double looped black goat.

Handle: Soft wool, pliable, durable, light.

Further Notes: Excellent condition.

direct scan of a  Afghan War Rugs: 11 foot Cicaktu Helicopter Runner


The German Collection:

Late last year a friend contacted me and asked if I would be interested in any of the rugs from a large collection in Germany. After seeing pictures I made an offer for the entire collection and it was finally accepted. Why it took over 6 months to ship these rugs from Germany is beyond my comprehension. Finally I got a call that Customs had released these rugs and I finally have them to offer to you.


A Ruh Korsi Southern Persia

A Ruh Korsi Southern Persia

Title: A Ruh Korsi, Southern Persia.

Size: 150 x 150 cm

Description: (German only) Auf dem, mit blauem Zackenband eingefaßten karamelfarbenen Innenfeld vier doppelhakenbesetzte Kreuzmotive in Blau und Grün. Diese wiederholen sich in Rot auf nachtblauem Fond auch auf der Hauptbordüre. Ein weiteres Zackenband in Ziegelrot ist mit einem fein gezeichneten grünen Rautengitter belegt und führt um das Innenfeld.

Cart
View Cart