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Pakistani Rugs: Exquisite Heirloom Pieces with Intricate Designs

Carpet-weaving and rug-making in Pakistan are heavily influenced by Islamic culture. Rugs are commonly used to cover the floors of mosques and houses. They also serve as wall decorations. After the establishment of Pakistan in 1947, the Muslim rug artisans and other craftsmen decided to migrate to the area and settled in Lahore and Karachi. These two cities soon became the centers of carpet weaving in Pakistan.

In the late 1970s, rugmakers created the Pakistani 16/18, more popularly called the Pakistani Persian rug. The rug was a by-product of the US market ceasing to buy Persian rugs after cutting off trade relations with Iran. This shortage in Persian rugs made the finely-knotted Pakistani Persian rug more appealing to consumers. On top of that, the 16/18 had a high knot density (a total of 288 knots per square inch), giving it smooth and fine details.

Today, the majority of Pakistani carpets and rugs in Lahore, Karachi, and Rawalpindi are either Mori or Persian carpets. Mori carpets are known for their Turkmenistan and Bochara-like patterns. Meanwhile, Ziegler carpets—another type of Pakistani-manufactured carpet—borrow patterns and styles from the older traditions of the Arak district in Persia.

Pakistani Rug Materials & Weaving Techniques

Weavers craft Pakistani rugs out of imported wool, while its warp and weft are fashioned from cotton. Rugmakers use fine Australian wool yarn when producing Pakistani carpets, giving these area rugs the same texture as silk carpets.

Pakistan area rugs are either hand-knotted or handwoven. Craftsmen adopted Persian techniques during the Mughal Dynasty, but today’s weavers use mainly open knots to produce Pakistan carpets. The open-knot technique helps alter the tone of the carpets when viewed from different angles.

Carpets in Pakistan can also have single or double warps. Mori rugmakers weave those rugs with a single warp, while other carpets use a double warp.