Pakistani Rugs: An Investment You Can Walk On
Exceptional and long-lasting, Pakistani rugs are treasured as an exquisite heirloom piece. Nowadays, these rugs are usually made from imported New Zealand wool yarns hand-knotted to perfection. Despite the top-notch quality and durability, the authentic Pakistani rugs prices are lower compared to its Persian counterparts.
Known as one of the finest oriental carpets in the world, Pakistani rugs add splendor to almost any setting. Moreover, they come in a variety of sizes such as runner rugs, small/large area rugs, contemporary rugs and antique rugs. Although mass-produced, these Pakistani rugs and carpets are traditionally made and only by the hands of professional weavers who have thrived in this industry for generations.
As we’ve witnessed the brilliance, comfort, and satisfaction brought by these oriental rugs, we feel compelled to share our experience with you. This article hopes to serve as the ultimate handbook for those who need guidance when buying Pakistani rugs online or wherever they decided to purchase from. Hopefully, we would be able to convince you that it is worth investing in these breathtaking masterpieces.
Why Pakistani Rugs Make Great Investments
Handcrafted furniture, intricate china wares, and other sleek home decors do better with exceptional, hand-knotted Pakistani rugs. Apart from its ability to harmonize with a variety of atmosphere and ensembles, these high-quality rugs add value to a home setting making it look more classy and expensive.
There are plenty of reasons why you should invest in Pakistani rugs. But before we get down to those, below lists everything you need to know about this world-renowned handcrafted item. From the weavers’ rich history to the reputation of hand-knotted rugs in the current market, learn it all so you can appreciate these pretty Pakistani rugs a bit more than what you do now.
I. A Brief History of Pakistani Rugs
According to historians, the awe-inspiring art of weaving Pakistani rugs can be traced back to the ancient Indus Valley civilization. Excavations found in the timeworn cities of Moenjo-Daro and Harappa showed evidence of early weavers through spindles and other weaving materials. Most of these early fabric makers moved to the cities of Lahore and Karachi where they found their jobs and settled.
Earlier Pakistani rugs did not make use of remarkable designs and high-density knots until the Mughal period. During the Mughal times, particularly under Shah Jahan’s reign, the Pakistani way of weaving entered its golden age. The news about these rug carpets spread out quickly that the demand for it reached the whole of South Asia and abroad.
Today, the government supports the importation of quality yarn. As a result, Pakistani rugs nowadays make use of Australian and New Zealand wool. Moreover, the production of hand-knotted rugs is the second-largest cottage and small industry of Pakistan as of this writing.
II. What Are The Different Types of Oriental Rugs?
Pakistani rugs are created in two ways: hand-knotted and hand woven. Pakistani hand-knotted wool rugs have three major types. Bohkara, Persian and Tribal. While they are all durable and of high-quality, these rugs have variations which are all worth knowing.
Take time to check what separates one type of rug to another so you can pick the right investment for you. If you like to know more about the different types of oriental rugs, continue reading our list of oriental rugs.
Shorter term for Pakistani Persian, these rugs display curvilinear and floral designs. The themes are usually derived from the Tree of Life, Mahal, Isfahan, Tabriz, Kirman, old Kashan and Sultanabad rugs. Pak Persian rugs are woven with Senneh, a highly valued Persian knot.
If you’re looking for a quintessential rug rich with intricate designs and symbolism, try the Pak Persian rug.
Type of knot: Senna
Life expectancy: 125 - 200 years
Pakistani Bokhara rugs make use of Ghiordes, a Turkish knot. They also feature traditional geometric patterns on solid background colors which range from classical reds to gold and jewel tones. The texture is velvety and almost blanket-like. Bokhara rugs are part of the tradition and heritage in different parts of Pakistan such as Lahore, Hyderabad, Kashmir and other areas of the region.
If you love a blast of colors, the Pakistani Bokhara rugs with its 5-8 jewel-toned colors are the most suitable for you.
Type of knot: Senna
Life expectancy: 125 - 200 years
Baluchi rugs are handmade by Baluchi tribes that live in the greater Baluchistan region in present day Pakistan and Iran. They have maintained the style of their traditional rugs comprised of a whimsy hallmark, bright unexpected colors and exuberant patterns.
Looking for some playful patterns to decorate a very simple area? Add a Pakistani Baluchi rug in the room setting!
Type of knot: Senna
Knot count: Over 200 knots per square inch
The intricate patterns of Beljik serve as its main attraction. The Beljik rug is also known for its astonishing color combination of various shades of blues, blacks, and deep reds. The production of Pakistani Beljik rugs requires a great number of sheep as it is only made of wool from the sheep’s belly.
If you’re into rare rug types, finely spun wool and complex borders, look for Pakistani Beljik rugs!
With higher-knot density and top-notch quality apart from its outstanding look from the clever use of patterns, buying Peshawar rugs is one of the best investments you’ll ever make!
Entirely knotted from handspun yarn like the Chobi rug, Gabbeh showcase almost the same texture and quality. It is also dyed from natural sources such as hand-gathered roots, nut shells, tree barks, vegetable skins, and dried flowers. Like the Pakistani Chobi rugs, Gabbeh rugs display large geometric floral patterns. As such, this type of Pakistani rug is the most labor intensive.
What separates it from other carpet rugs is their lanolin-rich luster which is known to be fade-proof and long-lasting. If durability is your priority, go for Pakistani Gabbeh rugs.
Although naturally colored, Heriz makes use of commercially farmed dyes making it less labor intensive. It’s also made of senna knot which allows Pakistani Heriz rugs to have intricate designs and a wide range of colors.
For a dark, silent room ambiance, all it needs is an enchantment of deep reds and a variety of colors from Pakistani Heriz rugs!
Kazak Rugs are almost-naturally dyed rugs. This is due to their commercially farmed dyes which made their construction a lot easier than Chobi and Gabbeh rugs. The wool found in this type of rug is also hand-spun out of a drop-spindle. Kazak is widely known for its indigo blue, red and ivory colors with a warm vibrancy.
These type of rugs have a nomadic background. But nowadays, Khan Mamdis are constructed of machine-spun wool and commercially-produced dyes. Khan Mamdi rugs stand out because of their bold, geometric and stylish floral designs.
If you love rustic rugs with historical traditions embedded into it, don’t forget to add Khan Mamdi to your wishlist of rugs.
Sporting a Kazak style of patterns, Shairwan can be easily mistaken for a Kazak rug. However, this type of Pakistani rug is constructed with hand-spun wool ran through a spinning wheel. Due to this, it features a more consistent an higher knot count than Kazaks. They also were accents of turquoise, orange, yellow, peach and terra cotta.
If you love Pakistani Kazak rugs but would want a more natural version, check out Shairwan rugs!
The weavers of Qashqai tribe love to play with colors and designs. They frequently use deep blue as the main element in their pieces while highlighting a palette of assisting colors that completes the whole appearance.
If you love intricate designs in a rug that’s predominantly deep blue in color, look fo Qashqai rugs in the shop’s rug collection.
Compared to other Pakistani rugs, Kilim rugs are flat weave carpets thus, the absence of a pile. These rugs are warp-wrapped and crafted primarily on vertical looms. Kilim rugs are also known for making use of natural wool colors which are sourced from the dhumba sheep.
If you love virtually reversible carpets, look for Pakistani Kilim rugs.
Jaldar rugs are inspirited by traditional Pakistani Sarouk and Yamud designs. It displays diamond-shaped motifs aligned in rows and they are made out of Ghiordes knot.
Diamond motifs will look great in any setting. If you want this element in your home, check out Pakistani Jaldar rugs.
During the British colonial times, Lahore became a famous weaving center in Pakistan. The traditional weaving techniques were further enhanced as the industry flourished in the city that crafting also took place in Lahore’s jails. Rugs produced in this era are referred to as Lahore rugs.
Do you have a rug of choice as of this time? To help you further, we will discuss some type of rugs that stood out and where you can find them. Read on to learn more.
III. What Is A Peshawar Rug?
Peshawar carpet rugs come from Northwestern Pakistan, where many Afghan weavers migrated and settled over the years. These are hand-knotted pieces of fine rugs dyed using natural sources. If you’re looking for a rustic rug with pale faded details, these antique rugs will definitely suit your taste.
Like other oriental rugs, the Pakistani Peshawar rugs also make use of hand-knotted wool. Sometimes, they are made of other materials like Pakistani silk rugs. The crafting processes of Peshawar include the Persian weaving technique.
As for its design or patterns, Peshawar usually sports beautiful medallion and floral motifs which are also common among other Pakistani oriental rugs. What separates it from others is the ingenious usage of open space. Instead of utilizing tightly packed designs, the Peshawar rugs appeal to the vision by letting each pattern stand out.
Is Peshawar the kind of rug for you? If you’re so decided about it, check this collection of Pakistani Peshawar rugs.
IV. What Country Makes The Finest Area Rugs?
Before we name the top countries that make the most beautiful rugs, we’d like you to know that all of them are excellent! So far, no country was proclaimed as the “best rug makers” but each has its own unique style and rich history. For many years, Persia was highly regarded for its enviable legacy, but where does it sit right now?
Persian rugs display uniquely designed floral motifs and an admirable historical background. But recently, they have fallen behind due to the usage of commercially used dye. However, Persian rugs remain to be magical. One hundred years from now, today’s rugs from Iran are most likely to be valued by collectors above all others.
The cost of labor in Turkey is higher compared to other countries on this list. This leads to higher retail pricing in the market. But in terms of design, Turkey is home to the most creative Turkish rug artwork.
People used to love oriental and hand knotted Chinese rugs. But as the country shifted to modern techniques and production of machine-made rugs, the quality and authenticity were greatly compromised. However, no country can beat rugs coming from China in terms of variations and affordability. We have several Chinese Rugs in stock, such as the one pictured here
The country’s sought-after bamboo silk make great hand-knotted rugs. Nepalese rugs are also affordable due to the low cost of labor.
Afghanistan rugs are handmade by tribal people who are accustomed to rug-making. Most of the Afghan refugees acquired their craft during their stay in Pakistan. They continued in this industry resulting in a promising future for Afghan weavers.
After the Afghans returned home, Pakistan needed more help with hand-knotted rugs. However, losing some skilled workers will not dwindle their industry as Pakistani weavers knew it in their hearts that they can craft finer hand-knotted rugs compared to others. Home of Peshawar and Bokhara rugs, the Pakistan rug industry is a must see by every fine area rug collectors.
V. How Pakistani Rugs Are Made
Far from your typical household carpet, these authentic Pakistani rug carpets take months while for some labor-intensive types, years to be completed.
Here’s a video of how handmade rugs are produced:
Authentic Pakistani handmade rugs were made by families who have been doing this craft for generations. After the hand-knotting process, the rugs are pigmented with natural dyes and stone-washed to enhance its features
The time spent to finish a rug will depend on the knot density, size, materials, and dye used. See below info on the type of handmade rug (9’x12’) and how long it usually takes to finish them:
- Pak Persian Rug - 12 to 14 months
- Bokhara - 9 to 10 months
- Baluchi - 9 to 10 months
- Beljik - 16 to 18 months
- Chobi - 12 to 14 months
- Gabbeh - 10 to 12 months
- Heriz - 10 to 11 months
- Kazak - 9 to 10 months
- Khan Mamdi - 9 to 10 months
- Shairwan - 12 to 14 months
- Qashqai - 10 to 11 months
- Kilim - 5 to 6 months
VI. Where Can I Buy Pakistani Rugs
Buy Pakistani Rugs Directly From Weaving Centers Or Stores
You can source authentic Pakistani rugs directly from weaving centers or stores established around bigger cities. Some of these major weaving facilities include:
- Mirpur Khas
- Tando Adam
- Dera Ghazi Khan
- Sangla Hill
- Toba Tek Singh
Buy Pakistani Rugs Online
When buying Pakistani carpets online, the primary worry is the fear of receiving a fake rug. Too many online stores today source their items from bootleg manufacturers in China. As such, it is important to carefully examine the background of the seller and only buys from trusted marketplace sellers in eBay, Amazon, Etsy and other independent merchants.
RugKnots has been in the market supplying US homes with high-quality rugs since 1987. We make use of 100% cruelty-free, organic dyes and traditional hand knotted techniques in producing top-notch Pakistani rugs. With 30 years of rug-making experience, you can never go wrong with buying authentic carpet rugs from us.
VII. Other Frequently Asked Questions About Pakistani Rugs
Buying a Pakistani rug is a daunting task especially for first time buyers who are not familiar with the culture of weaving rugs. Over the years, our team has received different kinds of questions about rug production, buying the right kind of rug for their home and other interesting things worth sharing. We listed down some frequently asked questions or FAQs about Pakistani rugs coming from our customers:
#1 - How to know if your oriental rug is fake?
Pretty Pakistani rugs come in different forms. One is authentic, the other one is fake. They may look the same at first, but the true beauty of these oriental rugs will unveil after a series of careful examination.
For more information, read our blog on 7 signs that tell if your oriental rug is fake.Going Out Of Business Sales:Many stores made a business out of going out of business. These shady rug sellers trick people by making them think that they’re buying quality rugs at a very low clearance sale price.
However, you will soon notice that the store has been doing this “going out of business” promo for over a year. And that’s the only time you’d think of examining your rug to see whether you bought the real thing or not.
You Bought It For A Cheap Price:When it comes to rugs, you get what you pay for. There’s no such thing as a ‘steal’ when buying an authentic Pakistani rug online or in a brick and mortar store.
Know what is a good price for a rug. An heirloom piece like an authentic Pakistani rug won’t cost any lower than $200. If your living room is quite big, invest on premium rugs that are usually priced at $1000 or more.
We suggest checking out thrift stores, but your chances of finding a beloved Pakistani carpet rug in a decent condition at a giveaway price is close to zero.
The Rug Is Not Made Of Wool:Carpet rugs shine with romanticism if they are made of wool. But this “spark” won’t be visible if it’s constructed out of plastic and with use of a machine.
So if the rug simply doesn’t charm you… that’s one bum rug you got.
A rug made of wool will last decades or even a lifetime. Moreover, wool protects you from a lot of things.
- Wool is hypoallergenic. You won’t get any allergies from this floor covering for as long as you’re not allergic to the wool itself.
- Wool is antibacterial. Expect it to be cleaner amongst others.
- It is also flame retardant. So if it flames up easily, don’t worry as you already burn your money since the time you bought it.
The Rug Is Labeled As Hand Tufted Not Hand Knotted:Hand tufting technique is a simpler rug-making method. Compared to hand knotted rugs, hand tufted carpets are easier to produce and training won’t take long. Due to this, handtufted rugs are weaker compared to others.
While hand knotted Pakistani rugs stay 50 years or longer, handtufted rugs are known to last for only 7 years. As to which of the two is a better investment, the answer is very obvious.
Sewn And Glued Fringe Means Cheap:In Pakistani rugs, fringes are part of the structure. This is one of the first elements that build an authentic and valuable rug
So if you found that the fringe is only attached through a glue or by an obvious stitch, it’s 100% fake. Get your hands off that rug and find somewhere else to buy.
Bleeding Color:If you want a beautiful, precious and everlasting rug, only buy those colored with vegetable dyes. However, not all stores would say the truth about the product they’re trying to sell.
And as a wise consumer, you don’t want to pay a huge amount of money for a counterfeit item.
One way to know whether the rug is good or bad, is by checking if the dye used is colorfast. You can do this at home. But before you make a purchase, ask if the store offers a money back guarantee.
This video teaches how you can test the rug dye yourself!
Your Rug Is Made Out Of Synthetic Material:Again, an authentic Pakistani rug is made of wool sourced from New Zealand. If it has a hard plastic back, then it’s definitely made out of synthetic material. It is very easy to spot a fraudulent item especially if you’ve seen one genuine hand knotted wool rug already. Some qualities of a synthetic or fake rug include the following:
- The fringe is sewn or glued
- The back is not the mirror image of the front.
- Lastly, the back is hard to touch.
#2 - Are wool rugs expensive?
Definitely. There are many reasons we can cite as to why an authentic rug would cost more than $1000: it may be due to the cultural aspect, some are art-historical, while others are purely expedient.
This article explains further why authentic rugs, especially wool rugs, are so expensive.
#3 - What Makes Hand Knotted Pakistani Carpets Durable?
While the wool itself is a durable material, the techniques used by professional weavers enhance the imperishability of Pakistani rugs. This is the case for all pakistani carpet rugs that went through the hand knotting process.
Hand knotted Pakistani carpets were built by manually putting together individual pieces of wool yarn onto a loom to create a wool rug. Meanwhile, hand tufted rugs were made with a small tufting gun to punch a design into a canvas.
In RugKnots, we both sell hand knotted and hand tufted rugs. Both of them are made of high standards and are guaranteed to last. Making a choice between them is hard, but why should you pick one over the other?
One answer to this is durability. Due to hand knotting process done by skilled workers, these rugs are expected to last for more than 50 years. In addition, it takes a lifetime of practice for someone to learn the methods of hand knotting while the training for hand tufting is a lot faster and easier.
#4 - Is A Pakistani Rug A Good Investment?
All authentic Pakistani rugs are investments. However, the investment value varies depending on the techniques used to construct a piece.
Without a doubt, hand knotted rugs are far bigger investments than those created with a machine due to the following reasons:
As hand knotted rugs are handmade and took longer processing time, each piece tends to be unique and divergent from others. On the other hand, you can expect that several machine made rugs were done with the same machine settings, thus, lowers its value.
#5 - How Many Knots Per Square Inch Is A Good Rug?
Knot density makes a good factor you need to be aware about when choosing a good rug for your home. The average authentic rug has 100 knots per square inch which is present in many hand knotted pieces from RugKnots.
#6 - How To Clean A Pakistani Wool Rug?
Not only they are aesthetically pleasing, but Pakistani wool rugs are also great decoration pieces for your home. They make astonishing commodities or heirloom items for your next of kin to enjoy.
As such, it is crucial for an owner to know how to properly take care of a Pakistani wool rug. While it is imperishable, mistakes with cleaning can greatly damage a beautiful authentic piece.
Some rug owners witnessed their money go down the drain after ruining their authentic Pakistani rugs. Don’t let this happen to you.
While the internet is a good source of info, not all of them are correct. Here at RugKnots, we give valuable information to our customers so that they can take good care of their investments. Read below to learn more about how to clean an oriental wool rug:
Consider Professional Cleaning:Instructional videos in YouTube help us lot with many things. Still, you won’t be able to clean wool rugs like a professional. These carpet pros, wool cleaners in particular, make use of advanced equipment that will bring back the charm of your heirloom rugs.
Practice Caution:Wool rugs are resilient. But everything becomes dirty and ugly in time, especially if one is not too careful around it.
Some of the things you shouldn’t be doing around the Pakistani rug include: stepping on it while wearing soiled boots, drinking red wine near the carpet or letting your guest smoke indoors. There are more things we could mention and all of those will be listed down in another section of this article.
Spot Clean:When stain gets in the way, spot clean immediately.It takes 15 minutes for the dirt to set in deep to your carpets. So if this happens, make sure you are ready to fix various types of stains on a wool rug.
Rotate It:Families who inherited high-priced rugs don’t forget to rotate their rugs every six months. Why?
Rotating the wool rug prevents discoloration, matting due to frequent foot steps and having excessive dirt on a single spot.
Vacuum It:Vacuum your Pakistani wool rug twice a month, especially if you own the wool shag type. A special kind of rug like the ones you have will require an exceptionally good vacuum.
Shake It Out:If the task of vacuuming your rug twice makes you cringe, consider taking it outside for a good shake. This method will also help clear the air pockets and keep the rug clean without hoovering. If the rug is too big, ask for a friend to help you!
Old Fashioned Beating:Before the age of vacuum cleaners, old carpet owners make use of beating. This method breaks down the dirt without damaging the fibers. It survived and is still being used today as it has proven to be a safe and natural way to clean a wool rug.
Try Snow Dusting:If beating your rug the old fashioned way is kind of a big task for you, wait til next winter. Russian rug owners take their carpets outside at the park to clean them as they believe that the snow freezes the dirt particles in the rug. Surprisingly, this method works and is much easier than beating the rug!
#7 - What Are The Don’ts In Cleaning A Wool Rug?
Protect your investment by sticking to the safe methods of cleaning a wool rug. As much as possible, avoid the following:
Don’t Try To Be An Expert:Do not bypass professional cleaning. You may have watched some great videos online, but nothing does it better and with zero errors than wool rug expert cleaners. They also use advanced techniques which seem to be easy, but they’re really not.
Avoid Colored Soaps:The dye from colored soaps could stain some light patterns of the wool rug. It would seem to obvious and it may scar the precious rug for life.
Don’t Soak It We:Never soak your wool rug. The above portion is hydrophobic, which repels water. On the other hand, the bottom layer is hydrophilic, which absorbs and keeps water.
Once your rug becomes completely wet, you won’t be able to dry it before mold and mildew sets in. And this is something you won’t be able to fix
Avoid Sitting On A Stain:When a stain happens, don’t wait for days before cleaning it. Act immediately and spot clean. This will prevent the stain to set in. You only have less than 15 minutes to do this. Otherwise, your expensive wool rug will be damaged forever.
Don’t Steam Clean It:The need for steam cleaning won’t exist if you don’t get your rug soaking wet in the first place. There’s no way you can safely dry it before it attracts mold and mildew.
But if you would insist, steam cleaning won’t be of any help. In fact, the steam would be too hot for the wool. Leave the cleaning of a costly heirloom piece to the experts to avoid such problems.
#8 - Can I Sell My Antique Pakistani Rug? And For How Much
Yes, you can definitely sell an antique rug for a good price. The cost varies depending on the knot density, condition, historical value and cultural background.
For an estimate of how much you can sell the heirloom piece, you must avail for the services of an antique item appraiser.
#9 - How Much Does A Rug Appraisal Cost?
Before you sell the antique rug in the marketplace or in an auction, you must first identify its value.
Contact a dealer or appraiser but make sure to ask for their price first. A full written appraisal may cost a minimum of $500.
Apart from a full written appraisal, there is what they call “verbal estimation of value”. This less formal estimate will cost $100. With this arrangement, dealers may compare prices in the market and give you an approximation. However, no written document will be provided.
#10 - Where Can I Sell My Pakistani Rug?
Pakistani rugs have a rich, interesting background. While not everyone are aware about their beauty, a certain market will definitely appreciate the cultural, historical and pragmatic value of the pieces. There will always be an antique-loving person who will purchase your beloved rug at a good, reasonable price.
After you identified the cost of your rug, you can sell it in many ways:
- An auction house. Just make sure to read and understand their policy.
- Private sale via a dealer, a specialist vendor or gallery.
- Sell to an antique buyer, who may try to get the item for as little as they can.
- Create an auction listing on eBay with a desired minimum price. Some fascinated collectors of Pakistani rugs might be willing to put up a good fight for it. Who knows?
Invest in Timeless Pakistani Rugs
Buying Pakistani hand-knotted rugs makes a captivating and wise investment. While it enchants the room with class, sophistication, and antiquity, the carpet rugs remain valuable and make a perfect heirloom piece for the next generations to inherit and be proud of having.
Did you like how we presented Pakistani rugs as an investment worth tapping into?
We hope that you learned more about these intricate rugs. We aim to share with you our fascination with authentic Pakistani rugs and why it is a good thing to invest in them.
Our team would like to hear your thoughts! If you have any reactions, questions or info to share, feel free to post them below in our comments section. We appreciate any feedback coming from you!