THE HISTORY OF AFGHAN RUGS
Afghan carpets have a long and rich history. The art of carpet making in Afghanistan is thought to date back to the 16th century, when the Afghan people began to use carpets as a form of decoration and as a way to keep their homes warm during the cold winter months.
During the reign of King Amanullah Khan (r. 1919-1929), Afghan rug making reached new heights of artistic achievement. Amanullah Khan commissioned some of the most beautiful and intricate carpets ever made, many of which can still be seen in museums and private collections today.
After the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in 1979, the Afghan rug industry was dealt a severe blow. Many of the country’s best rug makers were forced to flee, and the rug-making tradition was in danger of being lost forever.
Fortunately, the Afghan rug industry has begun to rebound in recent years. In 2003, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) declared Afghan rug making to be a “Masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity.” This designation has helped to raise awareness of Afghan rugs and has spurred new interest in their production.
Today, Afghan carpets are once again prized for their beauty and craftsmanship. They are an important part of Afghanistan’s rich cultural heritage, and a source of pride for the Afghan people.
CHARACTERISTICS OF AN AUTHENTIC AFGHAN RUG
- Rugs from Afghanistan are typically made from wool, which is dyed using natural dyes. Natural dyes for rug making have been used for centuries to produce beautiful, vibrant colours in rugs. These dyes are made from plant, mineral and insect sources, and each colour has its own unique properties. Natural dyes are safe and environmentally friendly, making them a great choice for those looking to add a pop of colour to their home without harming the planet.
- The patterns on Afghan rugs are often geometric in nature, and often include tribal motifs. (More about these in the next section)
- Afghan rugs are usually hand-woven, and each one is unique.
- The quality of an Afghan rug can be determined by its knots per square inch – the higher the number of knots, the higher the quality. The average Afghan rug has between 50 and 200 knots per square inch. This tight weave is what makes Afghan rugs so durable and long lasting. It’s also what gives them their unique look and feel. If you’ve ever had the chance to run your hand across an Afghan rug, you’ll notice that the fabric is very dense and firm.
- The number of knots per square inch can vary depending on the type of rug and the specific design. Some Afghan rugs may have as few as 10 knots per square inch, while others can have up to 1000.
- The tightness of the weave also affects the price of an Afghan rug. Rugs with a higher knot count are usually more expensive, because they take longer to make.
AFGHAN TRIBAL MOTIFS ON RUGS
There are many different types of Afghan tribal motifs that can be found on rugs. Some of the most common include the following:
- Single medallion: This is perhaps the most iconic and recognizable type of Afghan tribal rug motif. It features a single large medallion in the centre of the rug, surrounded by a field of smaller motifs.
- Multiple medallions: As the name suggests, this type of Afghan tribal rug motif features multiple medallions, typically arranged in a symmetrical pattern.
- All-over patterns: These types of Afghan tribal rug designs feature an overall pattern that covers the entire surface of the rug. Common all-over patterns include geometric designs, floral motifs, and abstract patterns.
- Border designs: Many Afghan tribal rugs feature intricate border designs along the edges of the rug. These can include geometric motifs, floral designs, or even simple stripes.
- Tribal symbols: Some Afghan tribal rugs feature traditional symbols that are significant to the specific tribe that created the rug. These can include animals, plants, or even geometric shapes.
Each of these Afghan tribal rug motifs has its own unique meaning and symbolism. By understanding the different types of motifs, you can better appreciate the beauty and artistry of these amazing rugs.
THEME COLOURS IN AFGHAN RUGS
There is a wide range of colours used in these rugs, from the bright and vibrant to the more subdued and earthy tones. The most commonly used colours are red, blue, green, yellow and orange.
One of the most notable features of Afghan rugs is their use of bold and contrasting colours. This is what gives them their characteristic look and makes them stand out from other types of rugs.
The colour palette of these rug is often dictated by the region where it was made. For example, rugs from the northern province of Balkh tend to be brighter and more colourful, while those from the southern province of Kandahar are usually darker and more muted in tone.
AFGHAN RUGS IN THE HOME
Afghan rugs and interior design are two things that go hand-in-hand. Afghan rugs can add a touch of elegance and sophistication to any room, and they can also help to protect your floors from wear and tear. Here are a few tips on how to incorporate Afghan rugs into your home décor:
- Choose the right size rug for the space. An Afghan rug that is too small will look out of place in a large room, while an Afghan rug that is too large will make a small room appear cluttered.
- Consider the colour of the rug when selecting one for your home. these rugs come in a variety of colours, so it is important to choose one that will complement the existing colours in your home.
3.Think about the pattern of the rug when making your selection. Some Afghan rugs feature intricate patterns, while others are simpler. Choose a rug with a pattern that you think will look good in the space where it will be placed.
- Determine how you want to use the rug before making your purchase. Some people use these rugs as wall hangings, while others use them as floor coverings. If you plan on using the rug as a wall hanging, make sure to select one that is made from lightweight materials so it will be easy to hang on your wall.
- Take into account the overall theme of your home when selecting your rug. If you have a modern home, you may want to choose a more contemporary looking rug. If you have a traditional home, you may want to select a more traditional Afghan rug.
By following these tips, you can be sure to find the perfect Afghan rug for your home. Afghan rugs are an excellent way to add beauty and sophistication to any room, and they can also help to protect your floors from wear and tear.
More about Afghan Rugs: WIKI LINK
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