Afghan rug

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An Afghan rug (or Afghan carpet[1]) is a type of handwoven floor-covering textile traditionally made in the northern and western areas of Afghanistan,[2][3] mainly by Afghan Turkmens and Uzbeks.[1][4]

Nomadic women in western Afghanistan showing their Adraskan rugs.
The famous Bukhara pattern.
A different Afghan pattern

Types and varietiesEdit

One of the most exotic and distinctive of all oriental rugs is the Shindand or Adraskan (named after local Afghan towns), woven in the Herat Province, in western Afghanistan. Strangely elongated human and animal figures are their signature look. The carpet can be sold across Afghanistan with the most based in Mazar-e Sharif.

Another staple of Afghanistan is Baluchi rugs, most notably Baluchi prayer rugs. They are made by Afghanistan's Baloch people in the south-western part of the country.

Various vegetable and other natural dyes are used to produce the rich colors. The rugs are mostly of medium sizes. Many patterns and colors are used, but the traditional and most typical is that of the octagonal elephant's foot (Bukhara) print, often with a red background. The weavers also produce other trappings of the nomadic lifestyle, including tent bags and ceremonial pieces.


In 2021 Afghanistan exported 800,000 square meters of Afghan rug, which generated about $30 million dollars.[5] In 2008, 2013, and 2014 Afghan rugs won international awards at an international exhibition held every year in Hamburg, Germany.[6] It was reported that around 2 million Afghans are involved in the rug business in Afghanistan.[7]

Some Afghan rugs are woven by Afghan refugees who reside on a temporary basis in Pakistan and Iran.[8][better source needed] It has been reported that the majority of Afghan rugs during the war period were sent to Pakistan to be exported, where they were given the label "Made in Pakistan" when they were made in Afghanistan.[9][better source needed]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b "Afghan carpet". Encyclopædia Britannica.
  2. ^ "In Pictures: Risking death in search for antique Afghan carpets". Al Jazeera. 3 March 2021. Retrieved 2022-01-03.
  3. ^ "Afghans sell $1.7m carpets at Dubai conference". Pajhwok Afghan News. 12 October 2012. Retrieved 2014-01-16.
  4. ^ Baloch, Babar (30 January 2003). "Feature: Eager weavers put a positive spin on refugee life in Pakistan". United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. Retrieved 2022-01-03.
  5. ^ Hakimi, Amina (3 January 2022). "Afghan Carpet Exports Increase Amid Economic Crisis". TOLOnews. Retrieved 2022-01-03.
  6. ^ "Afghanistan grabs carpet Oscar award". Pajhwok Afghan News. 16 January 2014. Retrieved 2014-01-16.
  7. ^ "Afghan families go back to making carpets as economy unravels". The Express Tribune. 12 December 2021. Retrieved 2022-01-03.
  8. ^ "Afghan rugs". Archived from the original on April 18, 2009.
  9. ^ Peterson, Scott (27 March 2021). "In Afghanistan, weaving ancient industry back into global market". Christian Science Monitor – via Khorasan Rugs.

External linksEdit