Afghan Rugs and Carpets: Rugs from Afghanistan

baluch kilim mixed technique
Baluch kilim, mixed technique, about 6 by 9 feet. By “mixed technique” we mean it was woven in a combination of flat-weave and knotting.

Afghan rugs are genuine, often charming — and usually phenomenally inexpensive.

At present, it is very hard to sort out which ‘Afghan’ rugs are actually made in Afghanistan, and which are made in Pakistan by Afghan refugees. At least a million Afghans, including hundreds of thousands of rug-weavers, fled Afghanistan during its war with the Soviet Union and subsequent civil war, settling especially in Pakistan and Iran. To my knowledge, very few rugs are shipped directly from Afghanistan to the United States or Europe today. Instead, most are transported to Pakistan, then shipped abroad. So both Afghan rugs made in Pakistan, and Afghan rugs made in Afghanistan, are shipped from Pakistan, often making it impossible to sort out where a particular Afghan rug is actually woven. Perhaps it doesn’t really matter. Presumably at some time many of the refugees will return to Afghanistan and resume rugmaking there. For the purposes of this discussion, we will assume that all rugs made by Afghans not known to have been produced elsewhere were made in Afghanistan.

Andraskan Afghan Rug
Andraskan Afghan rug, about 3 by 6 ft. Andraskands feature peculiar, elongated human and animal figures. Often their dyes bleed, so many of these rugs have been spoiled.

In relation to the West, most Afghan villages really are remote. They have been made even less accessible by incessant war. Consequently, Afghan weavers have not been subject to much pressure from Western markets to manufacture for Western tastes. Most Afghan weavers make rugs that are about the same as those they have woven for decades. That is the good news, and the bad: good because it is, after all, pleasing that some weavers have retained ties to their own traditions, but bad because the products of the past several decades to which weavers have remained faithful are far inferior to earlier weavings. I cannot say that weavers in Afghanistan have contributed greatly to the rug renaissance, but, goodness knows, that is understandable in light of the chaotic conditions brought on by the invasion of the Soviet Union in the 1970s and Afghanistan’s subsequent, interminable civil war. In any case, Afghan rugs are genuine, often charming — and usually phenomenally inexpensive.

afghan serapi pacific collection
This Serapi rug was woven and finished in Afghanistan by a small production called Pacific Collections. Natural dyes and handspun wool.

The quintessential Afghan rug of the past fifty years is a wool-on-wool product with a repeated octagonal figure (often inaccurately called elephant’s foot) on a red field. In the trade it is called simply Afghan or Dulatabad. Afghans are made by Turkmen weavers in northern Afghanistan. A hundred years ago the guls (as the octagonal figures are properly called) were large — often 16 inches wide in bigger rugs. Guls have become smaller over the years until today they most often are no more than several inches across. As the guls have shrunk, so has the range of colors in the rugs. Today most Afghans contain only two colors: a rather bright red and a blue so deep that it looks black. Still, Afghans have survived because they are basically so appealing. They are still popular with Afghan people, including the many who have emigrated to the West.

One of the most exotic and distinctive of all Oriental rugs is the Shindand or Adraskand (named after neighboring villages), woven near Harat in western Afghanistan. Strangely elongated human and animal figures are their signature look.

Another staple of Afghanistan is Baluchi rugs, most notably Baluchi prayer rugs. Made by Baluchi people, especially in western Afghanistan near Herat, Baluchi prayer rugs can be muddy-looking rugs of almost no merit, or charming little tribal pieces. Virtually all are made on wool foundations with synthetic dyes, and measure about 2′ 8″ by 4′ 7″. In recent years I have had occasion to look through container loads of five or six thousand pieces to pick out my favorite two hundred. The best have lustrous wool, good body, balanced color, stable dyes, and interesting designs. At around $200 each, they seem like great bargains to me.

Afghan war rug
Afghan war rug woven in 1992.

A new genre of rug has appeared in the past fifteen years: the Baluchi War Rug. These rugs, which may be nearly any dimension but are usually prayer-rug size, depict scenes from the everyday life of the Afghan people. Sadly, of late that means scenes involving fighter planes, helicopters, machine guns, troop transports, and the like.

We tend to think of Oriental rug design as locked in tradition, passed down from mother to daughter. Certainly everything about making rugs in the Middle East and Asia is conservative. Techniques and designs are slow to change, and no rugmaker is sitting beside her tent ‘doing her own thing’. But rug design is not static, cast in stone by some progenitor. Witness the war rugs. To me, the miracle of these pieces is that weavers are able to incorporate bizarre elements into them, such as machine guns, and still they still manage to look like Oriental rugs! But it must be said that most, and possibly all, are made with dyes and fabrics of doubtful quality.

Afghanistan has always produced an abundance of kilims (flat-woven rugs) and still does. It does seem, though, as if the diversity reaching the West is far less now than it was two decades ago. One type is produced in enormous quantity: the ubiquitous Maimana kilim from the north. Maimanas are sold in prodigious numbers in America, especially in Santa Fe, New Mexico, where they resonate to the South West architecture and lifestyle. Maimanas are woven in a slit-tapestry weave, a type of kilim weaving that leaves characteristic small (up to three-quarters of an inch) gaps or slits between areas where one color leaves off and another begins. Their wool is rather coarse. In nearly thirty years I have seen only one that I was certain was made from natural dyes. They come in most sizes, though true 8 by 10s and 9 by 12s are rare. Maimanas are phenomenally inexpensive — from $6 to $10 per sq. ft. — but care should be taken in choosing them. At worst, they are murky-looking things with runny dyes, scratchy, lusterless wool, a loose weave, and areas of bright, clearly synthetic dye — and at the very worst they smell alarmingly of dung, presumably due to unwise choices in the finishing process. At best, they have good body, clear, harmonious color, good wool, and a pleasant aspect.

mauri silk rug detail

There is a small quantity of finely knotted rugs on silk foundations in the market, some with wool pile and others with silk. These are often called silk-warp Mauri rugs. I have known for years that these pieces are made in the capital city of Kabul in a workshop on Chicken Street, but only recently have I learned that they are (or at least were) made by Hazara weavers, and in particular by relatives of a gentleman well known and respected in Kabul: Haji Yusef. In 1985, the United Nations sponsored a natural dye project in Kabul and these rugs probably evolved from that project. One line of silk-warp Mauris is made in classic Turkmen Dulatabad designs with very small guls. Another line, usually with a silk pile as well as a silk foundation, is in designs that suggest the architecture of mosques. I see others whose designs are a mystery to me. They are often impressive rugs, but one must examine many of them to find one that is 100 percent pleasing.

Hundreds of Afghan immigrants living in the U.S. are involved in the Oriental rug business, and many frequent the Middle East in search of merchandise. Most buy rugs from the Pakistani camps and import them into America. A few are now involved in designing rugs themselves and commissioning them to be made in Pakistan. One such Afghan-American is Ahmad Ahmadi from Ariana Rugs and Kilims (not to be confused with Aryana Tribal Rugs) in Los Angeles. What is more unusual, Mr. Ahmadi has successfully commissioned rugs made in Kabul, Afghanistan. I was surprised when he showed me a good-looking Ushak-like carpet that he produced there.

This is the first I have heard of new-era rugs being made in Afghanistan. I can only assume that such production will be sporadic until conditions in Afghanistan improve. Even before the dust from American bunker bombs had settled, Afghan refugees began abandoning immigrant camps in Pakistan to return home, but much of the Afghan infrastructure has been destroyed. There are only poor roads to bring rugs to market. There is insufficient water to wash rugs with. There are no buildings in which to weave carpets longer than about twelve feet. Real estate is terribly expensive. Essentially there is no air industry for business travel or for exporting carpets. Moreover, living in Afghanistan is dangerous. Nearly every day innocent people get shot, not only in the counryside, but in the cities as well.

Afghan rug IM International
A 9 by 12 ft rug from I.M. International. A few years ago we would have assumed this was made by Afghans in Pakistan. Now it is nearly as likely to have been made in Afghanistan.

Thousands have turned around and made their way back to the Pakistani camps, which are at least stable. The rug industry there, which had been shattered by the loss of Afghan weavers, is recovering. Other Afghans are remaining in Afghanistan and doing the best they can to establish rug productions. They manage. Some weave rugs in Afghanistan and truck them to Pakistan for finishing and for export. Having to cross a border with rugs creates other problems. One friend of ours had had 500 rugs seized at the border, and he will no doubt be regularly shaken down for ‘baksheesh.’

I think there is a lesson for us in this difficult situation. Oriental rugs are made, not born. We shouldn’t take them for granted. It often seems to me a miracle that they are woven at all and find their way to our floors.

74 Comments

  1. generic user icon
    Candi July 29, 2008

    A friend sold me a rug they brought back from their years teaching at a middle eastern international school, about 4 x 6 that has girls on horses and flag designs around the outside. I would like to sell it. Do you know of any place to find a good home for this rug?

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    Richard July 30, 2008

    Candi,
    Can you send us a photo of the piece? I will be better able to help knowing what type of carpet it is. Richard@internetrugs.com

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    Kyle August 4, 2008

    My father is a Lt. Colonel in the US army and spent a year in Afghanistan. He brought back a few rugs that were given to him by a Warchief in Afghanistan. I know the rugs are not war related but are about 4′ wide and 5 1/2′ long.

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    Joanne August 25, 2008

    Interesting!

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    Richard September 5, 2008

    Very Interesting. Do you have photos?

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    Casey September 16, 2008

    I bought an “Afghan silk” rug while serving in Afghanistan. I took it back to NY for verification and every dealer told me their is no afghan silk in is in fact Chinese brought into Afghanistan. How much truth is their to that? Also heard that the Chinese silk rugs are actually rayon or boiled cotton. How can I tell?

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    Steve October 9, 2008

    I also bought “Afghan silk” rugs while in Afghanistan. I’d attach some pics if the option was available. The rugs seem to be silk foundation/wool pile based, but I’m curious about their authenticity and quality. If the quality is decent, I may seek more.

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    Richard October 15, 2008

    You can e-mail photos to Richard@internetrugs.com

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    Jawid October 27, 2008

    I am a Turkmen from Pakistan and in the rug business here since 1985. I want to give a little information about the 9×12 rug. This type of rug is actually made by a new production of Turkmen weavers living in Pakistan as Afghan refugees, but as they keep moving it’s also true to say it’s made in Afghanistan but not by Afghans. Thanks.

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    Karen November 7, 2008

    I’m stationed in Afghanistan and want a rug, how do i tell if it is real?

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    Richard November 7, 2008

    Send us a photo.
    Erugs@internetrugs.com

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    Khalid Sayar December 13, 2008

    Hello, I am an Afghan Boy haveing a research on Afghan Rug and carpet. when i read the sentence at the very beging of the page “At present, it is very hard to sort out which ‘Afghan’ rugs are actually made in Afghanistan, and which are made in Pakistan by Afghan refugees. ” you know these are the words that i was always searching for them to gather them and let every one know that Pakistan is generating revenue from all those afghan rugs made by afghans in Pakistan just they have add the extra words like Made in Pakistan. sham.
    i have a comment for afghan rug weavers to weave ” Made in Afghanistan ” at the back of their rug somewhere in a corner then everyone will know what is the main point, who is getting admiration for nothing and who really deserve the Appreciation?

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    shilla January 1, 2009

    I bought Afghanistan rug in the name of Pakistan rug.

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    shilla January 1, 2009

    very interesting photo’s but there no information how they net i mean sew the rug.
    thanks!

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    Loretta January 12, 2009

    We have two rugs that were brought back by my mother in 1981 from Saudi Arabia, which is where she had gone to work for a year. We had never heard of anything as a ‘war rug’ at the time. She told us how the afganis had made them after the Russians had invaded. They have tanks and guns and grenades on them. Little did I know then how meaningful they would become.

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    Michele March 20, 2009

    I have several Baluch rugs, each of which have numerous animal and bird figures. They all seem to have no heads.
    Is there a reason or meaning to this? Just curious.

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    Ann Gomez August 15, 2009

    Hi, I have a rug that was brought back from Iran in the 70’s, but its an Afghan rug. Just trying to place some value on it. Can you help? Thank you, Ann * I have photos of rug.

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    Tom September 10, 2009

    Hi, I am serving in Afghanistan now. I bought one of the “silk” rugs made by “Turkmen”. A piece of the tassels dissolved in bleach after 10 minutes. Is that a clear indication it is real silk?

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    Richard September 12, 2009

    Tom,
    Silk will dissolve any natural fiber. The first thing you see when silk is exposed to bleach is a discoloration. The burn test is really the best way to determine if the material is silk. Burn a small fiber from the carpet. If it burns like hair (shrivels) and smells like burning hair, it is likely silk. If it burns slow with and has a paper like smell it is likely mercerized cotton.

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    Tom September 17, 2009

    OK, these guys are tricky. They sew silk tassles in to the warp so you can hardly tell the tassles are not part of the rug. The rest of the carpet is mercerized cotton. You can tell by rubbing the carpet pile (top) vigorously. Grey fibers will come out. Real silk rugs won’t produce any fibers.

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    Veronica September 26, 2009

    I have a hand stitched Afghan rug that was given to me as a gift so I do not know much about the rug, but I would like to have it cleaned because it is very musty, where can I take the rug to be cleaned properly?

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    Tiffany Barrett November 2, 2009

    I have a war rug that is slightly different then those I have seen in pictures. What’s it worth?

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    Michael Miller February 3, 2010

    I am in Afghanistan in Wardak province. I am trying to find a rug to buy while I am here. I have some friends who are able to travel to kabul and get one for me. What should I suggest to them? Where should they go to buy one? What name would they recognize as a type of rug in Pashtu or Dhari?

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    Jan February 5, 2010

    I have heard mixed reviews on chobi style rugs. Can you give me your opinion on their quality and longevity. I seem to be attracted to them the most. Any other rug buying info. would be appreciated. I am living in Malaysia and want to bring back a carpet to the States when we return. Thanks

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    chris February 9, 2010

    curently in afghanistan looking to buy and send real silk products home for my family but i want to make sure i get the real deal any pointers c_hedlund113@yahoo.com

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    Jill Wiggins February 28, 2010

    I bought an “Afgan” rug, but have been told that every “Persian” rug should have a weaver’s signature. I can’t see one on my rug at all. Have I been conned….? I bought the rug from an oriental carpet shop, but did not know I should ask to see the weaver’s signature on the rug. I don’t have a camera – this is a general question. Thank you.

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    Chuck August 1, 2010

    I own a few Khawaja Roshnai rugs. They are beautiful and the feel of the thick and soft pile is lovely. Could some experts here comment if they are worth collecting ? Thanks

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    Ulla October 21, 2010

    Can some of you give me the name of a good rug marked in Kabul ?

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    CJ October 26, 2010

    I recently visited Herat and had a chance to purchase a great rug after touring the weaving and finishing facility the weavers. I bought a recently finished piece and it is signed. I’m pretty satisfied because regardless of whether it is of fine or just good quality I know its provenance and can say for a fact that it was hand woven in Herat. The price was pretty good, too. Next step is to visit a bazaar with a local friend and purchase a few more rugs. I’m looking at buying some Baluchi rugs as well as camel hair rugs. An article on what to look for and what is a decent price would be very useful.

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    Silva January 5, 2011

    I’m in Turkey right now and trying to buy a 100% Afghan Rug – have 6 of them home to try, would be great if some expert will look at them and make an estimation of price and quality/type description, I can submit or send pictures of them. Thank you.

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    Silva January 6, 2011

    “I meant 100% wool Afghan Rug” – wool on wool

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    Richard January 7, 2011

    Send the photos to the address above.

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    Anonymous March 29, 2011

    I got a rug from a good friend,it says from afgan,the wool is very thin almost like a blanket. It is very large with brown and golds and a dark red. He told me he bought it in the eighties and paid 10 thousand back then. I want to get it cleaned but am afraid to get it cleaned. What should I look for in a cleaner.

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    Mike April 19, 2011

    Since being deployed in Afghanistan the past six months I have purchased numerous rugs. Some silk, some wool and a camel hair….My prized rug is a 6×9 wool, have been told by numerous vendors the rug is 60 yrs old and in fantatstic condition…It is also the Elephant foot style pattern….I like the elephant term best. It’s a red rug with the typical blue/black elephant foot pattern, these are approx. 10″ in size. The burn test works well with wool rugs as well..They say this one is made of lambs wool. Regardless of what any of them are made of, I have enjoyed buying them and enjoyed the buying experience.

  35. generic user icon
    Matthewdavisy2@Netscape.net June 8, 2011

    My brother is in Kabul Afghanastan and would like to direct him to a good rug market. Can someone help?

    Matthewdavisy2@netscape.net

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    vinay shah June 20, 2011

    i am interested to sell old afghan rug given to me by in-laws. how to go about it , plz let me know . let me plz know thru my mail. its vinaynepal@yahoo.com thanx

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    Jawid June 26, 2011

    there are very few Silk rugs are made in afghanistan, and khoja roshnai is the best quality New carpet you can get from afghanistan, nearly 400 knots in 1 square inch,but you have to be sure if it is real khoja roshnai …

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    baberton July 2, 2011

    Hello,
    My husband recently bought a rug a military base in Afghanistan. It came with a slip of paper that says “united afghan carpet ltd.” It says it was made with local wool and comes from Herat province. It is 4 X 6. Can anyone provide any information?? Thankyou very much.
    maryclare.brzytwa@gmail.com

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    J.D. October 22, 2011

    Hello,

    I am stationed out here in Afghanistan and I sent you over 10 pictures of different rugs given to me. I have not heard back from you. I think maybe my email went to your junk folder because it is a company address. Also, I have more questions about purchasing a rug while I’m on TDY status in the Kabul area. The owner claims it’s an older Baluchi (around 50-60 years old). It is a long runner carpet (2 feet by 6 feet), deep purplish/maroon color with four big “diamond” shapes in the middle (gold outlining color). The fringe is missing on one side, he told me that it was due to “sweeping” the rug (I can that happening). The rug is very soft, he claims it is solid wool with goat hair fringe. I don’t buy things out because these people are the masters of recreation and fakery but this rug is very likable to me, the price is not. I would just as well buy something from your shop that is from Afghanistan and know what I’m getting. Living out here since 2002, we all need a souvenir from here before we go home!

    I will email you a picture if you get this email.

    Thank you for your time sir,

    J.D.

  40. generic user icon
    Anonymous November 1, 2011

    Hi

    I was told that the difference between Afghan, Indian, and Pakistani rugs are the amount of knots as well as the thickness of the rug.

    The thicker woolen rugs are inferior to the thinner choobis as the wool was not pulled tight enuff during the weaving process. Apparently, the Afghan choobis are he best as they usually have more knots per square inch, which means finer detailed work and also results in a thinner rug.

    I bought a Kashmiri Silk rug but re tI am not sure of the quality. I paid about $1750. Where are the best silks from and how can i tell if its pure silk.

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    sean November 5, 2011

    i have the opportunity to buy hand made rug from mazer e sharif which is 40 years old for $120. Is this a good deal?

  42. generic user icon
    Mkrauen@comcast.net February 6, 2012

    I have 4 war rugs I would like to sell. Can you tell me how to get started?thank you so much. Mary Kay rauen

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    J.R. March 24, 2012

    I am interested in a 4×6′ Afghan Rug that is being offered at a bazaar in Kandahar. The pile, knot count and colors look good. I am told it is Camel Wool. Can you give me an approximate value I should offer? I do not want to be taken advantage of. I will send pictures to those that request copies.

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    clark April 8, 2012

    looking at a 6 x 9 in afghanistan price 1350 trying to determine what i should pay for this rug. help

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    Here n researched May 20, 2012

    If you are in Kabul, beware of the dealers…most of their rugs are no where near worth what they say. Best bet is to have a terp go into the city and buy for you. The bazzars are for suckers, and the guys on the bases in the Kabul cluster are rip offs.

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    Here n researched May 20, 2012

    Also…most of their “silk” rugs are silk on wool base (similar to gold plated merchandise). They say it’s 100% real silk, but fail to mention that it is over top of wool; which is not durable at all.

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    McDillson June 25, 2012

    I have rug. It is like light yellow and very nice. How much? I am US Army solder. I bought rug here! How much it is?

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    Dave June 25, 2012

    Mr. McDillson, you can try emailing a photo of your rug to expert@internetrugs.com for more info.

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    Andrea August 28, 2012

    I have 2 rugs my grandfather bought in 1949 when he was in the middle east engineering the pipelines. One is a camel hair rug 102cmX195cm. I have the info on an index card, the date is December 1949 and he paid $25 (approx. 100 Rupees) at the bottom it says Kuwait suq… The second rug is a Saudi Bedu Khilim, 140cmx290cm, dated April 1949 purchased for $26.33 (SR 120) and says Bureida suq at the bottom of the card. I will send photos, am curious what you think their worth is today…

    Thank you

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    James October 5, 2012

    How can you tell a real Khawaja Roshnai? What are the trade marks and signs?

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    Jim October 21, 2012

    Hi all,

    I’m considering purchasing a wool traditional Afghan rug. In some places, I’ve read that the fringe should tie directly into the rug without any area in between. In some photos of high quality rugs and in some tutorials, there is an inch or two of wool between the fringe and the weaving…seems to be the bottom of the mat on which the rug is woven. Please advise if this is an indicator of poor quality or it is simply part of the traditional design.

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    Richard November 16, 2012

    Jim,
    Many tribes in Afghanistan add an embellishment at the end of their carpets. Sometimes this is a flat weave of kilim or Soumak. This end finish is very desirable. I think what you are talking about is machine made carpets where the fringe is just sewn into the end of the carpet. If you do a Google image search of **fringe on machine made carpet** you should get the picture .

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    Carrie November 17, 2012

    My father has been in afghanistan for 7 years now and he is finally home for good. He brought home 4 of these afghanistan rugs and he wants to sell them. He says they are worth 400-1000 dollars a piece… wanted to know if anyone knows where I can sell them for him and get a decent amount? Thanks!

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    Albert November 19, 2012

    I’m currently in Afhanistan and I’m very interesting in purchasing a couple of rugs. I’m currently negotiating the price for 2 rugs(started at$1100).Now, I find it extremely suspicious how the bazaar dealer knocked-off $300 after 2 days of negotiating the price.Can I e-mail you the rug pics with dimensions?thanks

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    Albert November 19, 2012

    Maybe you can give me an estimated fair value for the 2 rugs I’m currently looking at purchasing.

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    marj November 28, 2012

    i have a afganistan 25/49 w/4 camels and ababy w/ aboy w/tassales bought in 1985? it looks like camel hair maybe.my email address is mmpurcella@yahoo.com how much

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    Jon December 17, 2012

    I’m in Afghanistan right now and I bought a rug I was told it is 100% silk I’m a little skeptical and hope I didn’t over pay. How can I confirm it is silk without burning or bleaching it?

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    Patricia February 22, 2013

    Hello,
    I too am currenly in Afghanistan and would like to purchase a carpet (or two) to take home. I have read all the entries and hoped you could tell me what kinds of questions I should ask the shop keepers to try to determine if they are authentic. My only access is to those shops that are on the military base. Thank you.

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    Iren April 21, 2013

    I’m trying to find information about a wool blanket from the Kandahar Woolen Factory. Mostly trying to place the age of it. The tag, mostly in Farsi, is black with gold letters about 2×1.5 inches says, “Kandahar woolen Factory and had the picture of a goat on the left bottom. Any info would be much appreciated.

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    MSG Cartledge July 23, 2013

    I am a soldier currently in western afghanistan, Shindand to be exact. I have befriend an interpreter and he has picked me up several types of afghan rugs , bags and Kilims and 1 kazak prayer rug abou 40 years old in great shape, I am now trying to get some camel neck bands, saddle bags, flank decorations and salt bags, all of wich I want to be semi antique or antique., also tent bands and jailers. What are your thoughts on these items, and I would like to send you pics and get Your thoughts on my current purchases. Thanks, take care!

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    Toni January 16, 2014

    I have afghan elephant paw design 5 by 8 good condition can you give me value the rug was brought in Bahrain or Pakistan in the 90’s it is 100% wool pile believed to be about 40 to 50 years old
    Tfufla2@yahoo.com

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    suhrob February 16, 2014

    hi, to answer some questions, yes there is no afghan silk carpets. most vendors just say what ever so you buy it. always buy from reputable vendors. best afghan carpet is the red small octegon shape called khoja roshnaii. the best is type of that is foladi type. people often only think of knots per inch. but also see if the lines are straight on all sides of the carpet or it is a perfect square or rectangle. also take a white fabric, wet it with your tongue and run it across the carpet. if you see color, then the rug has been painted. move on. afghan carpets range from $80 per meter to $400 per meter which is khoja roshnaii’s folaadi type. a 2×3 meter carpet is a 6 meter carpet. depending on quality it shoudl ran from $80×6=$480 to $4800. you can find bargains but these are the normal ranges. need more info or recommendation contact suhrob@aol.com

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    suhrob February 16, 2014

    also, there are very few old carpets left. they are all new. old carpets if they are best quality fly out to western countries to fetch higher prices. do not believe when they say it is old!!! btw, 6 meter carpet above should be $480 – $2400 not $4800. sorry. also, best kilim is the Herati Maliki kilim. you know it is different just by looking at it. if you are not convinced it is beautiful, it is not Maliki. also, be careful of people who want to help you. they get their own cut and give you crap. BUY FROM REPUTABLE VENDORS! if they don’t have a bill or receipt that does not describe the carpet you just bought and does not have further information on the bill they are NOT a reputable place.

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    William McKenty April 30, 2014

    I was in Kandahar for two years as a home base, being a geologist I was all over the southern part of the country.

    KAF as it’s known, has a famous boardwalk replete with hockey, basketball and both styles of football.

    The best shop for rugs was/is United Afgan Rugs Ltd. I like rugs, the more ragged the better. I have something like 8 rugs and became good friends with the owner Jahan. His whole staff were/are just the greatest people. I bought actually, hundreds of rugs…. rug coasters, presents for the family. email address…. united_afghan_carpet.ltd@hotmail.com and jan_kaf@yahoo

    There was a wool shortage when i was there. I have rugs made in mazar sharif using belgian wool, one a large elephant footprint rug. i love killem (sp?) which are typically from Herat. I spent alot of time with the boys, dined with them, they taught me pashto and i helped with their english, and i play music for them, live….

    all i can say is i miss them and would recommend them highly, especially in terms of trust.

    names, Omar, Mohamed, ALI, Dor Mohameed, sadeek who works the fabric store next door is a great man! Jahan owns that store as well as others and he was nicknamed The Donald Trump of KAF, even though he never understood who the donald was… lol

    i can be reached at bil@mckenty.us

    douk dey pa haman

    bil

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    Shreedevi Nair-Pal June 27, 2014

    I have two two rugs, both with midnight blue backrounds and animal and bird figures done in camel, brick etc. Where in jAfghanistan would they be from? Could I send you photographs so that you can tell where they were made.
    I bought them in Pakistan as second hand rugs and I love them, but would love to more about them.

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    april December 21, 2014

    Can you appraise these your best guess
    amation

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    Ashish March 8, 2015

    HI,
    I bought an Afghani carpet last year, the seller told me it’s a Chobi carpet with vegetable dies and zegler design, the size is 5″ x 7″ now a couple of days back my 3 yrs old dropped glass of water on it and I realised that blue color and red color have started bleeding and discoloured the off white color. Can you please advise on this as in future what all I should do and can you suggest any treatment, my email address is ashish.sharma@irppl.com

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    MJ August 5, 2015

    I m from Pakistan. A country that is providing home, citizenship, social life, food, business, community and security to many afghans. I have lived in Afghanistan for a year and me, my husband n daughter love kabul. We have a khawaja roshnai rug which was given to us as a gift and we love it. Produced in Afghanistan or Pakistan, everyone knows its afghan carpet as baloch rugs are an art of balochi people (who live in Baluchistan province of Pakistan). A brother from Afghanistan said that Pakistan is getting appreciation for nothing. They r mere carpets and afghans should never forget the non material and material benefits that they owe to Pakistan and Pakistanis. If u r alive, you can produce a rug and weave ‘made in Afghanistan’ behind it. Sorry its not too relevant but I thought I should let the world know how afghans r welcomed here and how their art is appreciated in Pakistan.

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    Brahvi January 28, 2016

    No matter what country the Afghani carpets and rugs are produced in(by Afghanis ofcourse)A collector will always know the difference between an Afghani and a Pakistani carpet.

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    Carpet Expert June 17, 2016

    it is difficult to vary Afghan or Pakistan made carpet, when ever you find carpet made in Pakistan it is carpet weaved by Afghans living in Pakistan or Weaved by Pakistani people who is trained by Afghans. In simple; Afghans are weavers of carpet in both countries but thanks to Pakistan made this industry popular around the world.

    The real inventor of Carpet is Turkmen girl called “Halii” therefore carpet is called in Turkmen language “Khali” خالی.

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    Richard June 17, 2016

    Thank you for your post!

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    Mr. David Amadi August 27, 2016

    We are interested to import good quality rugs carpets and hope to read from interested suppliers directly to our email:olilienwuaru@gmail.com. Send the pictures of your rugs to our email box by acrobat format and prices C&F basis Nigeria.
    Mr. David Amadi

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    Nazar November 30, 2016

    Thank you Carpets Expert:
    You knew the exact history of afghan carpets Hali.

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    wr March 16, 2017

    For your information Pakistan does not have history of weaving rugs and it is Afghanistan with the best quality hand made rugs but not Pakistan. Moreover, Pakistan does not provide anything for Afghanistan such as citizenship, social life, security or anything else and poor Afghans pay a lot of money just to live in nasty Pakistan.