How to Make an Afghan Rug

A lot of time and detail goes into making Afghan rugs. They’re durable pieces of art that are painstakingly crafted for months on end before finding a place in your home. Found in a variety of colors, designs, and regions, Afghan rugs have quickly become a symbol of tradition and culture. Read on below to discover the incredible history of Afghan rugs and how they came to be.

Handmade Afghan Rugs - A Brief History

Rug making, also known as carpet weaving, has been a part of Afghanistan's history for centuries. Afghan rugs are more than decoration; they are an iconic symbol, representing a country of many cultures and ethnic backgrounds.

Afghan rugs, like Afghanistan itself, represent a diverse range of cultures and artistic sensibilities. With some drawing heavily on Persian influences, others from more Oriental styles, and still others reflecting the unique war history of Afghanistan, an Afghan rug is both an amazing piece of art and a pinnacle of craftsmanship. Continue reading below to learn how an Afghan rug is made!

How to Make an Afghan Rug

Making an Afghan rug is a painstakingly slow process. They take months to make, woven by hand and individually crafted to be unique. Additionally, there are many different styles to choose from based on different tribal traditions in various regions. Regardless of where they are made, though, the process is relatively similar. Below is a summary of that process:

  1. Making the wool thread through the process of hand spinning, and then wrapping it to form skeins.
  2. Preparing the wool in a mordant bath, so it will take to the dye.
  3. Dying the wool with natural dyes made of vegetables, plants, etc and then allowing it to dry before use.
  4. Weaving by knotting and cutting the threads individually on upright looms. This is the longest process of all, and the most variable depending on design. However, it usually takes months to complete large rugs.
  5. Selling the rugs in markets for people to enjoy all over the world!

It may not appear hard, but rug making is a truly beautiful process. That’s why, when you purchase one, you are buying a unique piece of art!

Now, let’s explore some of the different types of Afghan rugs.

Bokhara Rugs

Bokhara (sometimes spelled as Bokhara or Bukhara) are hand-knotted rugs made by expert artisans. Featuring intricate oval or diamond shaped motifs and complex traditional designs, Bokhara rugs are lavishly soft and made from 100% ethically sourced New Zealand Wool / Belgian Wool.

Royal Bokhara

Royal Bokhara rugs are distinct for their color, mostly red but sometimes also found in green, ivory, or grey hues. They feature symmetrical octagon patterns and diamond motifs and can also be described as a “Window pane” design.

Kunduz Rugs

Kunduz rugs are handmade rugs found in the villages of Northern Afghanistan, in or around the town of Kunduz. The Kunduz rug is usually a deep-red hue and features geometric designs and features.

Khal Mohammadi Rugs

Khal Mohammadi rugs are typically characterized by their copper color, tidy appearance, and decorative, flat finish on either end. Khal Mohammadi rugs are considered to be exceptional in a few ways. Unlike other rugs, Khal Mohammadi rugs aren’t named after their place of origin; in-fact, their name derives from the legendary icon that created this magnificent design. In actuality, Khal Mohammad is an Ersari Turkmen who is known as an innovative rug producer and master dyer from Northern Afghanistan. Khal Mohammadi created this design while he stayed in Afghanistan. Most Khal Mohammadi rugs made today are woven around the town of Kunduz, located north of Afghanistan.

Where Can I Get My Own Afghan Rug?

That’s a great Question! We sell a wide variety of hand-picked Afghan rugs on our website, all of which we purchase ourselves and bring back to the United States for you. You can browse our inventory here and if you have any questions at all, we’re more than happy to help. We also take special requests if you are looking for some specific. Tell us about your special request here.