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Balouch Rugs

Posted on 23 April 2014
Balouch rugs and carpets come from the geographic region of Balouchistan, an area which is part of Iran, Afghanistan and Pakistan. The area is defined by the use of the Balouch language; it is a large region which has many different ethnic groups living within it.

These weavings are primarily recognised by the colour palettes used, they feature bold, dark colours such as browns, deep reds, dark blues, purples and black, although sometimes ivory is used in small quantities to highlight the patterns. The designs are often outlined in black, making the rug look even darker. This is part of their style, and they have somewhat of a rustic charm to them. Wool and cotton is commonly used, or alternatively they can be 100% wool, or can include camel or goat hair woven into sections.

The designs are very geometric, and the tree of life motif is very popular. Designs can be floral, but even these patterns are highly geometric. The wool used is often very high quality, and the knot density is perhaps lower than the average hand-woven rug because of the tribal nature of them. They are very resilient, strong weavings which use the Persian (otherwise known as senneh or asymmetrical) knot, and are usually small to medium sized.

Balouch weavings take influence from Persian, Turkish and Caucasian rugs in terms of their designs, and there are two main types; those from the Persian-Afghan border and those from the Persian-Pakistan border, although Balouch rugs are also made elsewhere in Balouchistan.

Traditionally they were used as floor coverings in tribal tents, which is why they are often quite small; these tribes constantly moved about and thus it was far more practical having smaller rugs that are far easier to roll up and carry. However the people of Balouchistan also weave saddle bags, blankets and many other essential textiles.

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