An Afghan rug also known as afghan carpet is a type of handwoven floor-covering textile traditionally designed and made in Afghanistan, but in recent years some of the carpets/rugs are made in Pakistan by Afghan Refugees. Afghanistan’s handmade carpets are among the top, high-quality carpets around the world, in 2008, 2013 and 2014 Afghan carpets won international carpet awards in design and quality.
Afghan Carpets are related culturally and historically to nomadic tribes of Afghanistan. There is no data on exactly when carpet weaving started, the Assyrians and Babylonians (6th century BC) were probably the first to have constructed some kind of carpets. They covered their mansions and palaces with carpets and even decorated their walls with carpets. Historically Afghanistan has been the center of cultural and political influences by its surrounding neighbors because of its closely connected provinces to other countries, hand weaving more specifically carpet weaving is considered to be one of the ancient activities of Afghanistan’s tribal population and might have been influenced by its neighboring countries, geographically Afghanistan is in the heart of Asia and home to nomadic (Kuchi) populations and therefore it is one of the main centers of carpet weaving. It is said that carpet weaving might have first started in Badghis and Herat provinces of Afghanistan, the carpet weaving industry in Afghanistan developed from this era onwards, and Afghan carpets were exported in large quantities to other countries in the 1st and 2nd century AD. the Islamic periods, especially in the era of Ghaznavids (2-1 AD) in different cities under their influence, especially in the surrounding areas (Bactria) or Balkh, which in Arabic was called (Umm al-Balad) or the mother of cities, carpets were used as home decorations. Around the same time, for the first time, carpets were woven for use in praying place )Jay Namaz), a rug used as to pray on. Carpet weaving in the East reached its peak in the seventh century AD and went through various stages of development. Especially in the Sassanid era and in the fourteenth and fifteenth century AD, during the Timurid period, which was the era of the development of science and industries, especially painting and miniatures, Afghan carpets, especially carpets from Herat province, reached.
Carpets were originally made for the use of families and gifts to kings, and were less commercial in nature. Sometimes used as a trade by foreign merchants, these merchants were mostly from neighboring countries and they exported Afghan handmade carpets to other markets around the world.
In the eighth century, Herat carpets were exported to London markets, after World War II, Afghan carpets were bought in London markets and sold elsewhere. Despite the fact that Afghan rugs were sold to European markets by third parties in the past, and Afghanistan had less trade relations with the Western world, Afghan rugs maintained their reputation and were introduced as the product of this ancient Afghanistan.
How it is made
Most of the carpets are woven by various ethnic groups of women and girls in northern and western provinces of Afghanistan.