In spite of all the troubles in Afghanistan over the last 25 to 30 years, the production of traditional rugs, carpets and kilims has continued and, more remarkably, new production has evolved.
Here is a small selection of rugs and carpets woven by Afghans both within Afghanistan and in the refugee camps of neighbouring countries…
Ziegler Afghan Rugs
This is a relatively new production designed to emulate the carpets woven by Ziegler & Co in the late 19th century. These modern Ziegler carpets are hand-woven by mainly Turkoman weavers of Afghanistan in the border regions of Pakistan.They are woven using vegetable dyed, hand-spun Afghan wool, on a cotton warp and weft foundation.
These Ziegler rugs and carpets are available in an assortment of palettes, ranging from a mellow aged appearance with subtle tones to more vibrant colouring for dramatic effect.
Red Afghan Rugs
This very traditional type of Red Afghan rug is hand-woven by Ersari tribes' people, the best examples coming from an Afghan Turkoman area in northern Afghanistan between Ankoy and Mazar-i-Sharif. Many of the villages around Aq Chah produce these distinctive carpets with the majority having red grounds with traditional dark blue/black which outlines the unmistakable large 'gul' design (elephant's foot).
They are woven in many sizes, using local karaqul wool both in the pile and often in the warps. The Red Afghan rugs and carpets vary in quality but always represent good value for money.
Khan Mohammadi Rugs & Carpets
These rugs and carpets are produced in northern Afghanistan in and around the town of Kunduz, one of the principal marketing centres in the north.
Khan Mohammadi carpets are woven by several different peoples producing various designs, including traditional 'gul' and 'fil-pai'. They are generally woven using Afghan Karaqul wool, in an assortment of warm reds, deep red-maroon, together with gold, indigo, green and white.
The modern production of Kazak rugs and carpets is largely woven by Afghan refugee weavers in the Pakistan border region. These rugs and carpets are based on traditional Caucasian designs and woven with good quality wool yarns, much of which has been dyed using natural vegetable dyes thus adding to their vibrant and dramatic appearance.