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Exploring the Beauty and History of Afghan Rugs.

Updated: Jan 31

The right rug is more than just a focal point in the room. It can be a work of art, as well as a direct connection to the past. Afghan rugs offer both incredible beauty and workmanship, as well as being a traditional craft dating back hundreds of years.

What Is an Afghan Rug?

Is a vintage Afghan rug the same thing as an Oriental rug? How do these fine rugs compare to Persian rugs?

Technically, these classic rugs are both Oriental and Persian. They use the traditional Persian knots rather than Turkish knots, and they originated in what was at one time called the Orient.  They also maintain the quality and durability these fine rugs are known for. 

Today, Afghanistan exports hundreds of thousands of authentic rugs for sale around the world. Afghani handwoven rugs are crafted using traditional techniques and high-quality materials, including some of the world’s finest wool, as well as silk. While they come in several different types, two of the most sought-after are the Shindand style, which originated near Herat, and the Baluchi style, which is made in the southwest region of the country.

How Are Afghan Rugs Made?

These one-of-a-kind rugs are handmade using handspun yarn. An Afghan rug should use vegetable dyes (organic dyes) and can feature many different patterns and motifs. For instance, rugs from around Herat often feature elongated humanoid shapes, while a Bukhara (elephant foot) pattern or an Adraskan pattern will feature repeating geometric shapes, usually surrounded by a defined border. 

Whether you’re looking for a red rug to add vibrancy to your space, a blue wool rug for calm and tranquility, or a combination of colors to add style, these handwoven rugs help you achieve your goals.

Where Can You Use These Timeless Rugs?

A vintage Afghan rug can be used almost anywhere in the home, including:

As area rugs for sitting rooms and bedrooms

As a focal point rug for the living room

As wall hangings in any room of the home

They can also be used in office spaces and many other areas – anywhere you want to add a pop of color and warmth. 

How to Keep Rugs from Afghanistan in Good Condition

Authentic rugs from Afghanistan, including kilim rugs and other knotted rugs, should be cared for carefully. To help them last as long as possible, keep pets off them, limit traffic over them, and try to avoid eating or drinking near them.

With a little bit of TLC and the right knowledge, you can keep Afghan rugs pristine and beautiful. This will also help prevent wear-and-tear-related damage, whether you’re using it as a rug for the living room, in the bedroom, or somewhere else.

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