Pakistani rugs are often overlooked gems. These fabulously decorative carpets grew out of the Mughal Empire and contributions from Persia’s strong industry. The results are many Pak-Persian designs featuring Indian-influenced variations on Safavid patterns.
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Today, Pakistani rugs are synonymous with the Turkmen-style gul rugs that were marketed in Bokhara. However, Pakistani rugs are much more diverse. The first and perhaps the greatest regional rugs were produced in Lahore when Mughal Emperors controlled the area. These stunning carpets are still renowned for their quality and decorative value. Rugs from Lahore typically feature stylized Mughal patterns.
Angular Caucasian-style carpets are also produced in Pakistan as are Persian-influenced arabesques, which are associated with Peshawar. For stylish, timeless carpets with value and quality, Pakistani rugs are an excellent choice.
One of the most well known style of Pakistani carpets must be the Peshawar rugs. These new carpets feature well-defined designs and sophisticated compositions with soft, naturally varied colors. The recent popularity of Peshawar rugs has been enhanced by the wide availability of sizes and patterns.
Pakistan and the Pashawar region are known for their tribal Chobi rugs, but they also produce many Mughal-style patterns, large-scale Persian arabesques and Ziegler-style designs that have a romantic Anglicized appearance. The soft vegetable dye colors and natural abrash are distinctive traits associated with Peshawar rugs. Like the Anglo-Persian designer carpets from the late 1800’s, modern Peshawar rugs have an elegant style and timeless appearance that is ideal for traditional decor.
History Of Pakistani Rugs
The Indus River Valley is the birthplace of weaving textiles and home to modern day Pakistan. The ancient cities of Mohenjo-Daro and Harappa were some of the few that existed at that time, but the citizens of these societies played a key role in the development of the textile industry. Using spindles and a slew of materials, ancient peoples of the Indus River Valley spun rugs and other material goods for personal use and for sale at the markets.
Some say that carpet-weaving could have been brought to Pakistan by Muslim rulers like the Ghaznavids and the Ghaurids of Afghanistan. These groups would have brought weaving to the river valley in the eleventh century. However, it is much more likely that the Mughal Dynasty is responsible for Pakistani weaving. At the beginning of the sixteenth century, Babur was expanding his territory from Afghan region to Bangladesh.
The Mughals requested local craftspeople to weave rugs containing Persian motifs. The Pakistani rugs woven in the Punjab region at this time are known as Lahore rugs. The demand for these beautiful rugs increased worldwide due to their unique designs and quality craftsmanship. Emperors Jahangir and Shah Jahan also took great pride in owning these rugs. Under the rule of Shah Jahan, the face of carpet-weaving changed, and the classical era began.
By the seventeenth century, Lahore rugs had reached England. The British colonial era was marked by a period of jailhouse woven carpets. It wasn’t until later that non incarcerated women also began weaving rugs. Pakistan’s weaving industry set off in the direction to become what it is today.
Today, rugs are one of Pakistan’s largest exports. They are hand-knotted by Afghan refugees living in the country. It’s a cottage industry that is almost synonymous with Pakistan. Elegant and unique, each Pakistani rug is a bit different, featuring medallions, paisleys, and other geometric patterns.
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View our current selection of modern Pakistani rugs below: