Khal Mohammadi Rugs

khal mohammadi rug
And Afghan Khal Mohammadi rug.

One of my favorite productions from the Afghan refugee camps in Pakistan is called Khal Mohammadi. I am puzzled about where their designs spring from. They are recognizably Turkmen in character, but unlike any Turkmen designs I have seen.

Khal Mohammadi rugs are characterized by their usually coppery-colored fields, by their highly lustrous finish, their usually clean, neat, and tidy appearance, and by the decorative, flat-woven finish on either end. Typically, they are heavier-bodied and finer-knotted than Kampbaff rugs. They are, to me, a welcome departure from the typical red, large-gul Afghan rugs that for decades were almost the only Turkmen rugs available.

Like so many of the rugs in the market now that I admire, just ten or fifteen years ago they weren’t made. Most sizes are available, though it is very hard to find a true 8 by 10 or 9 by 12.

For the past two years we have seen in the market a small production of a variant Khal Mohammadi. These are finer knotted than their cousins and are woven with what is said to be Beljik (Belgian) wool.

Belgian wool? Perhaps. They look to me to be made from New Zealand wool. In any case, they are lustrous and very-impressive. They cost about twice as much as regular Khal Mohammadis.


  1. generic user icon
    Bill McReynolds July 22, 2008

    These ARE very cool rugs. Definitely a notch or two outside of ‘the pack’. My own Khal Mohammadi (named ‘Copper’, by my ever-insightful wife) at approx. 10’X14′ has a tribal sensibility almost shrieking from that indigo colored, field of disjointed vines! Even though the larger size makes me wonder how hard it must have been to possibly weave that big girl – on the ground? These rugs have a great, excellent wool, sorta ‘floppy’ handle, and should become collectible someday……

  2. generic user icon
    Mal Ramsey January 22, 2010

    I have just bought a Khal Mahammadi- 3.5 x 2.5m. Belgian wool I am told. $12,000. Is that too much? I have ripples. The sellers spent 3 days trying to get them out. Many were removed but many remain. Should I demand a rippleless rug? Please tell about ripples. Why they are there and do they reflect a poor quality rug. Should we ask for a replacement?

  3. generic user icon
    Richard January 23, 2010

    In my opinion that is just about $9000 over what a Khal Mohammadi should cost. If the carpet is defective, (ripples)you should demand your money back and go elsewhere for your carpet needs.

  4. generic user icon
    Anonymous June 13, 2010

    Yes, in Afghanistan you can buy it for $400. Sorry. Get your money back.

  5. generic user icon
    Sean July 26, 2010

    Just bought one myself good to hear some history on them. Looks great in my entry way hall. I paid 1100 for mine.

  6. generic user icon October 2, 2010

    I bought a rug labelled Khal Mohammadi.I see identical type designs labelled Khan Mohammadi.Are these the same or quite different? Thanks.

  7. generic user icon
    Anonymous March 27, 2011

    Gretz from Sweden. I second that, Bill McReynolds… and I really sorry Mal Ramsey who’s became a victim of the sleaziness of the trade. Mind u that sleaziness is a fairly mild expression considering the depth of the worldwide corruption the carpet trade seems to be infected by.
    I’m a rookie in these matters and new to dealing with rugs & carpets but I sure would like to clean-up in this abysmal of decay and corruption. It’s a shame that the beauty of handmade (-wowen) rugs and carpets are beeing soiled by greed and stupidity. Well, I got carried away here, sorry! Thanks all for sharing your knowledge, coz I need it.

  8. generic user icon
    David Q November 25, 2011

    When I worked in India, rug wallahs also called these carpets “ankhooee”. Have you heard this term for a Khal Mohammadi?

  9. generic user icon
    Alan Harrison November 29, 2011

    Hi Mal. I think I can help here. I’ve traded in Afghan rugs for 30 years so hopefully should make sense.
    First Khal Mohammadi and Khan Mohammadi are the same thing though strictly speaking Khal is correct.
    Reading between the lines it looks like you are not looking at a Khal Mohommadi but a rug I know as a Belgique. They are quite different. The Belgique is much more finely knotted with high quality wool imported from Belgium. A Belgique is a high value carpet and I have one on my stock about 370 x 270 for about £4000. That would be around $6000 US so looks like yours is a over priced.
    In very fine rugs it is extremely difficult to remove ripples so I would walk away my friend. They could make it flat but the buckling comes back the first time it’s washed.
    This is a great site for rug fans. I hope to visit Emmetts store when I come to the USA next July?

  10. generic user icon
    Richard December 1, 2011

    I think what they were referring to is Andkhoy, a town in northern Afghanistan where many of these pieces are woven.

  11. generic user icon
    Paul de Florio January 18, 2012

    We have a Bokhara and Mashad but this was sold to me as a Belouch. Any info and is it signed(the circled area)

  12. generic user icon
    Mell May 19, 2012

    Always go to a reputable dealer with a name they must keep up. And I have been told good rugs are never on sale. If they have reduced the price it wasn’t what they were asking in the first place.

  13. generic user icon
    Kastrel November 22, 2014

    Being fan of Pakistani hand knotted rugs, I recently went to an emporium in Pakistan looking for a Pak-Persian piece. Fell in love with a belgique which was a revelation to me and ended up buying it instead. Absolutely love it. It’s not for colour shy but if you like the vibrancy of traditional hand knotted rugs then definitely consider it.
    My understanding is that they come in three varieties, in increasing quality order in terms of wool quality and finer knots:
    Khal (khan) muhammadi

  14. generic user icon
    Clare September 26, 2015

    Just bought two 1.5×1.02 and 2mx1.3 for £20 each on eBay. HI have had two others for ten years one is a hall runner which has taken a lot of use but stil looks great and a real beauty in the bedroom which looks as beautiful as the day I bought it. Less than £200 for all four! Take your time to India a bargain.

    Definitely a fan of these lovely rugs