An Afghan rug (or Afghan carpet) is a type of handwoven floor-covering textile traditionally made in Afghanistan. Many of the Afghan rugs are also woven by Afghan refugees who reside in Pakistan and Iran. In any case, Afghan rugs are genuine, charming — and usually phenomenally inexpensive. One of the most exotic and distinctive of all oriental rugs is the Shindand or Adraskan (named after local Afghan towns), woven in the Herat area, in western Afghanistan. Strangely elongated human and animal figures are their signature look.
Another staple of Afghanistan is Baluchi rugs, most notably Baluchi prayer rugs. They are made by Afghanistan’s Baloch people, also in the south-western part of the country. Most of the weavers in Afghanistan are the Ersari Turkmen, but other smaller groups such as Chub Bash and Kizil Ayaks are also in the line of weaving rugs. In addition, Uzbeks, Kyrgyz, Kazakhs, and Arabs label their rugs according to their ethnic group.
Various vegetable and other natural dyes are used to produce the rich colors. The rugs are mostly of medium sizes. Many patterns and colors are used, but the traditional and most typical is that of the octagonal elephant’s foot (Bukhara) print, often with a red background. The weavers also produce other trappings of the nomadic lifestyle, including tent bags and ceremonial pieces.