One of the most famous types of carpets woven in Central Asia is ‘Bukhara’ or ‘Bokhara’. The name itself derives from the city of Bukhara. In the past was one of the main trading centers. From it, all goods traveled further west.
The Characteristics of Bokhara Carpets
Commonly, Bokhara rugs are red and black with rust and blue accents. They are based on wool. Also, their pile is rather tight and dense. Despite the fact that Bukharas are usually handmade, their weavers use both vegetable and synthetic dyes. A very popular pattern of octagonal guls, known as ‘elephant’s foot’ always appears on the carpets. It is very popular. However, the exact shape and scale of the design can vary. It depends on the tribe and the size of the loom. While some consider Bukharas a Turkmen invention, they appear also in Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan. In the past, the nomadic tribes made this type of carpets on portable looms. Now people produce them also in India and Pakistan. Moreover, there are numerous variants on Bukhara rugs. The most popular are Salor, Tekke and Yomud.
Types of Bukhara Rugs
Salor Bukharas are a rare sight. Their makers – the Salor tribe – lived near the Afghan border. The rugs’ pile is usually scarlet. Additionally, it is decorated with two rows of octagons. The Tekke tribe vanquished the Salor tribe and assimilated some of their weaving techniques. As a result, they created Tekke Bukharas. They are one of the most popular types of Oriental rugs. Among them, we can distinguish between prayer rugs and non-prayer rugs. What’s characteristic of them is the usage of Persian knots. On the other hand, Yomud Bukharas share the colorings with two previous types. These rugs are mainly deep red. Their creators are the Yomud tribe. Because of their more Caucasian design, they can have quite uncommon patterns. For example, there might be a field divided into four by a Greek cross. In addition, one can observe a field of diamonds.
Bokhara Rugs out of Central Asia
These usually come from Pakistan and India. In fact, Pakistani Bukharas are one of the most popular carpets in the world. They are both beautiful and affordable. Then can be found in a large variety of colors. For example, one can spot shades of orange, green, and gold. Their pile is very soft because of the mix of wools used during the process of weaving. Afghan Bukharas have more in common with their Central Asian cousins. The Afghan and Turkish people utilize the double knot during weaving. It results in a much tighter and shorter pile. The colorings are similar to those on Central Asian Bukharas. However, you can also buy Afghan rugs on a cotton or silk basis.
Bokhara rugs reflect the great cultural diversity of Asia, not forgetting about all those things that different countries have in common. No matter if they are made in Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan or Pakistan – all of them are beautiful and unique creations with centuries of history interloped with their piles.