Afghan (Ersari Afghan)
This is probably what most people would imagine when the word Oriental rug is mentioned. Almost every single rug owner in the world has or had one of these Afghan rugs. This popular rug is produced both by nomad weavers and workshops all over the world, and it is the most widely imported rugs from Afghanistan, its original birth place.
The design consists of large square octagonal guls in deep blue, often with beige accents, repeated in columns and rows on a deep red or gold coloured field. The borders will often feature a major stripe surrounded by many narrow guard stripes.
The warps and wefts of Afghan rugs are almost always wool, with exception of an occasional piece with foundation made of goat hair. The quality of Afghan rugs can range from coarse to medium, with 25 to 75 knots per square inch; the finest come from Dauvlatabad. Afghan rugs are available in a wide range of sizes, from 3 by 2 to 14 by 10 feet. They are among he most modestly priced handmade rugs available, ideal for first time buyers.
The relatively simple Afghan design is quite easy to copy, which is why you will find Afghan rugs when on holiday and visiting local bazaars in India, North Africa and any other parts of the world with weaving tradition. Interestingly, Indian copies are often more finely knotted and more expensive than the original on which they are modelled.