View our current antique collection of Afghan rugs below:
Learn More About Tribal Antique Afghan Rugs
Afghan rugs produced in Afghanistan are quite unmistakable and have developed a loyal fan base, being unique among antique rug origins. In the cultural melting pot of Afghanistan, Balouch, Turkmen, Kazakh and Uzbek weavers come together, each bringing something unique from their countries of origin. Afghan area carpets, bags and tribal trappings are created by many distinctive groups, including the Esari, Salor, Tekke and Yomut. Their designs are varied. However, their use of intricate elephant’s foot guls, vivid reds, ornamental borders and decorative end pieces provide a level of stylistic continuity.
Using natural dyes, tribal weavers created a tremendous variety of red hues that range from deep aubergine brown to warm burnt orange. These vibrant colors are traditionally paired with clear blue and ivory accents. While the tribes of Afghanistan frequently use guls and serrated stars, the decorative borders and end pieces are the areas where weavers traditionally put a little bit of themselves and their culture into the design. This also holds true in the decorative rugs of Bokara where allover gul motifs are very common.
The gul is a versatile motif that can be used as a medallion or to create grand repeating patterns. They can be set against a monochromatic field or used to form an impressive tile pattern where each motif interacts with its neighbors. Afghan rugs are united by their color palette and frequent use of guls and repeating motifs, but there are many subtle differences from tribe to tribe and between ethnic groups. The saturated colors and bold, cultural designs featured in antique Afghan rugs make them spectacular statement pieces that can perfectly complement a variety of interior styles.
During the 19th century Turkoman tribes set villages in Afghanistan leading to the influence of Turkoman weaving styles in the region. Bokara and Turkoman rugs are laden with geometric and tribal designs. The tribal designs of Baluchi weaving are one of the most common in Afghanistan. These often feature a tree of life design and are lighter and brighter in coloring than northern Persian rugs.