Bokhara rugs are usually Tekke faced and are defined by their symmetrical patterns of repeated oval or diamond shaped motifs. They are traditionally designed with tones of rich red but also feature green, rose, ivory, and grey hues.
Where do Bokhara Rugs Come From?
Bokhara rugs come from the Bukhara region of modern day Uzbekistan.
It is said that the style, now known as Bokhara, was originally called Tekke after the rugs became so highly loved throughout empires. The rug eventually took on the name of the city Bukhara.
However, many surrounding regions craft Bokhara rugs. Although the most luxurious and popular Bokhara rugs come from Pakistan, Bokhara rugs are crafted in Turkey, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, and Afghanistan.
Because of their incredibly soft piles, Bokhara Rugs rugs are prized in the region and across the Western hemisphere.
An Introduction To Bokhara Rugs
Bokhara is a term commonly used to describe Tekke-faced rugs. Tekke was a tribe from the area of Bokhara in Central Asia. The design is dominated by rows of guls and surrounding geometric patterns. The Tekke tribe is also thought to have incorporated some design aspects of the Salor tribe, also from the area of Bokhara in Central Asia. Some historians suggest that the Tekke most likely vanquished the original Salor tribe and assimilated their designs. Today "Bokhara" designed rugs are made across the carpet-weaving world, including Pakistan, Iran, India, Turkey, Afghanistan, and Central Asia.
Below, some Bokharas from different regions are highlighted:
The term "Pakistani Bokhara" is used to describe modern Tekke-faced rugs made in Pakistan, which are among the most popular handmade rugs in the world. Using a combination of NZ worsted and local Pakistani wool on a cotton base, the Pakistani Bokhara has a very soft and thick pile. The length of the pile varies depending on the clipping of the particular rug. Sometimes the pile is intentionally left significantly longer, called "double pile", resulting in extra thickness and depth - although there is a trade-off with the clarity of the pattern.
A 6 x 9 (ft) /1.83 x 2.74 (m) Bokhara, is made on stationary vertical looms and usually takes about 5-6 months for completion. The clarity of the design is sharp as it is a single pile rug. The knot used is based on the symmetrical knot, which is commonly referred to as "single knot" in Pakistan.
Pakistani Bokharas are made in different qualities and are available in a variety of colours. Like most handmade rugs today, the dyes are synthetic and guaranteed. The particular Bokhara displayed on the left is a top quality piece with 242 KPSI..
The Pakistani Bokharas are very popular for their soft, luxurious feel, heavy pile, attractive colors and appearance, and for their affordability.
Central Asian Bokharas
Tekke-faced rugs are still made by weavers in and around the city of Bokhara in Central Asia, although these are more difficult to find.
These rugs are usually made by nomads on horizontal transportable looms with a different weave to Pakistani Bokharas, and generally are based on the Senneh knot (referred to as "double knot" in Pakistan). The wool pile of the rugs is far shorter than Pakistani Bokharas and the design is more intricate, requiring a higher density of knots. The colours of the Central Asian Bokharas are also predominantly rust, red, and brown. Unlike Pakistani Bokharas, which use cotton bases, the Central Asian Bokharas tend to use a predominantly wool base. The feel of the pile is generally tighter and denser as a result of different wool and greater clipping of the pile. Both vegetable dye and synthetic dye Central Asian Bokharas can be found.
Central Asian Bokharas are known for their beauty, high quality, and durability.
Like the Central Asian Bokhara, Afghani Bokharas are often made using the asymmetrical (double) knot and are usually woven by Afghans of Turkoman ethnic origin. The weave results in very tight knotting and dense, shorter pile than the Pakistani Bokhara. The Afghan Bokharas generally have wool bases, although they are available in cotton and silk bases also. The Afghan Bokharas are made on both vertical and horizontal looms. They are made in predominantly rust and red colours, and the dyes used in modern Afghan Bokharas are usually synthetic.
Like Central Asian Bokharas, the Afghan Bokharas are known for their high quality, clarity and attractiveness of design, and extreme durability.
Another type of Bokhara is the Baluchi Bokhara. Baluch tribes span across Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Iran. The Baluchi Bokharas are typically more random in design and coloring, reproduced from memory as opposed to strictly following pre-set patterns. The rugs usually use coarser wool for the pile than other types of Bokharas and always use a wool base. The Baluchi Bokharas are made on horizontal, transportable looms. They generally have shorter piles than Pakistani Bokharas and are predominantly made in red, rust, and brown shades. Baluchi Bokharas are found in both vegetable and synthetic dyes.
Baluchi rugs are known for their uniqueness, durability, and affordability.
Different Types of Bokhara Rugs
Salor Bokhara Rugs
Salor Bokharas were originally crafted by the Salor tribe who lived just North of the northern Afghan border. Usually red in color and defined by at least one symmetrical row of octagons, these bokhara rugs are beautiful. Every octagon usually features a smaller octagon or diamond within its border. The interior sides of each octagon usually feature one to three flowers.
Tekke Bokharas are one of the most prized oriental rugs styles and are usually divided into two types:
- Royal Bokhara Rugs (non-prayer rugs)
- Princess Bokhara Rugs (prayer rugs)
Royal Bokhara Rugs:
Usually feature a red primary with multiple rows of elongated renditions of octagons joined horizontally and vertically with lines and alternating small diamond motifs — a style also known as a window pane design.
As they hold cultural and religious importance, Princess Bokhara rugs are more distinct than Royal Bokhara rugs.
A mihrab is a semicircular niche in the wall of a mosque that indicates the qibla wall. The qibla wall contains the the mihrab which points in the direction of the Kaaba in the holy city of Mecca, Saudi Arabia.
When Muslims pray, they pray in the direction of the holy city of Mecca. This wall indicates the way in which the mosque patrons should pray. All Tekke Bokhara rugs are hand knotted wool with the finest Persian knots.
Yomud Bokharas are named after the large Yomud tribe whom are located over most of Central Asia. Yomud bokhara rugs have a more Caucasian-like (meaning from the Caucus region) design. They feature a deep red field with either Persian or Turkish knots.
One of the most common designs has the field divided into four by a Greek cross, with small white octagons woven in the quarters. A less common design has an all over field of a diamond lattice pattern with geometric medallions within each diamond.
Rugmall Bokhara rugs feature an exclusive double pile. We leave the top wool pile intentionally longer to create an extremely lush feel.
Bokhara rugs are hand-woven by artisans in Pakistan. Most of the patterns and designs are inspired by Tekkes, the rugs designed by weavers in Turkmenistan. These rugs typically have repetitive octagonal designs (known as gules) woven on a background that is a rich burgundy red, blue, ivory or green color.
Typically, a Bokhara has about 200 knots per square inch. Although not common, you can pick up the rug with 242 knots per square inch. This high-grade rug is more expensive but worth the money you spend on it. An authentic Bokhara rug is hand knotted.
The most luxurious Bokhara rugs are crafted in Pakistan because Pakistan is the only country that uses the double pile construction. Yes, Bokhara rugs are that luxurious.
Don't believe us? Check one out for yourself ! You should check it out at therugmall.com
Your Everything Guide To Collecting Bokhara Rugs
Before you start collecting Bokhara rugs, it is a good idea to first learn everything you can about these magnificent pieces of art.
A beautiful rug on the floor of your home can not only boost the aesthetics of the room, but also soothe the senses with its eye-catching design. If you started out with one or two rugs and are looking to expand your collection, you must consider adding Bokhara rugs to the set. With their stunning and mesmerizing designs and colors, you will find yourself tempted to pick up more than one.
How To Tell If A Rug Is A Bokhara Rug?
The surest way to identify a Bokhara rug is by its symmetrical patterns. This is one of the most striking features of a Bokhara and easily distinguishes it from other types of Oriental rugs.
A typical design consists of diamond or oval motifs designed repetitively across the whole rug in a symmetrical pattern. Also, the most dominant color of the rug will invariably be burgundy red with a few splashes of rose, gray, ivory and green.
The Benefits Of Owning A Bokhara Rug
Not sure if it is worth investing in a Bokhara rug? Check out some of the more compelling reasons why you should add one of these to your collection.
Bokharas are gorgeous to look at. The classic oval or diamond motifs are stylish and you never have to worry about your rug going of style.
The rugs are hand-woven using skilled techniques and high-quality wool. The finished piece is a feast for the senses – colorful, precise and lush.
Beautiful And Aesthetically Pleasing
Bokhara rugs are woven by hand and artisans and they spend time planning the design of the rug. This ensures you get an intricately designed rug that is unique and pleasing to the eyes. It can effortlessly enhance the look and feel of a room.
High quality fibers ensure that these rugs will last several years without showing any ill-effects of wear and tear.
Older Bokharas are known to increase in value and since a Bokhara rug can last a lifetime, you can rest assured knowing that your rug is a worthy investment.
If you are looking at expanding your rug collection, you definitely should not hesitate to add a Bokhara or two. The beautiful symmetrical patterns will add a unique style to your home and the high-quality fibers ensure that the rugs can be handed down the generations looking none the worse for wear.
Some Important Washing Tips
Some Bokhara's can bleed like crazy! Use immersion wash most of the ones you get. They're usually fairly thin, so they dry quickly.
You should normally dry all Bokhara's flat, upside down, with a lot of air flow.
We wouldn't recommend cleaning one on-site. Total loss of control; you have so many tools at your disposal at your shop.
Check the rug's label. Lift the corners of your rug to reveal the rug's label. Usually, on the label, it will have instructions on the safest way to clean your Oriental rug. Rugs can be made of silk, wool, cotton, or synthetic material and each requires a certain degree of finesse when cleaning.
Vacuum and tend to the rug regularly.
Vacuuming your rug at least once a week will lift recent debris and dirt from it and keep it smelling and looking new for a longer time. Vacuuming also prevents the wool fibers in your rug from becoming packed down
Keep your rug out of direct sunlight.
Rugs can be prone to sun damage, so keep it away from windows if you can. Keeping an oriental rug in the sun will cause the colors to fade over time. If your rug has to be in direct sunlight, rotate it at least once a month. While the colors are still likely to fade, at least they will fade evenly.
Test to see if your carpet is colorfast.
Some rugs are colorfast and won't bleed when wet, while others will. If the rug's label reads "dry clean only," then there's a good possibility your rug is not colorfast. If you want to test your rug, saturate a small corner of the carpet with room temperature water, then press on it with a clean white cloth. If there is dye on your rag, then your carpet is likely to bleed if you clean it yourself.
- In the case that your carpet is not colorfast do a light cleaning but avoid getting your carpet wet or using chemical cleaners on it.
- If you need to deep clean a carpet that is not colorfast, your best option would be to bring it in to be professionally cleaned.