Bokhara

Bokhara Rugs

Bokhara rugs are knotted in Pakistan and made of high quality hand spun wool and vegetable dyes. 

These rugs are known for their repeating rows of guls and geometrical patterns. You can view our gallery of Bokhara rugs and learn more about these rugs below.

History Of Bokhara Rugs

Bokhara rugs originated in the Bukhara region, located in the southwest of Uzbekistan. They were first made by nomadic tribes who roamed this region. Later they began to be crafted in Pakistan and India as well. 

The unique colors, patterns, and weaving technique along with their extremely soft pile are just some of the factors that make Bokhara rugs so popular around the world.

 

Bokhara Rugs: Plush, Colorful & Wonderfully Luxuriant

Pakistani Bokhara rugs have a few distinct characteristics that make them instantly recognizable. These hand knotted rugs have a dense pile, which gives them a wonderfully plush look and feel.

This luxuriance is further enhanced by a seemingly endless palette of colors, ranging from rich reds and vibrant greens to deep rusts and classic gold. The hallmark of a genuine Bokhara is the repetitive rows of stylized octagonal flowers called Gul.

Bokhara rug in living room
A Bokhara rug with repetitive rows of stylized octagonal flowers.

Distinctive Designing

The traditional Bokhara design is a repetitive pattern consisting of rows of guls and surrounding geometrical patterns. 

The gul design is basically a stylized octagonal flower. In all Bokhara rugs, the guls are arranged in uniform columns and rows in the field. 

These motifs are usually slightly oblong and shapely, while still adhering to their basic geometric form. The similarity between the rugs ends there though.

Bokhara Patterns

Guls come in a wide assortment of forms and can vary in shape, color and design from one rug to another. The background colors and the color combinations also vary hugely, depending on the weaver’s personal interpretation.

Add to this the different methods of handknotting that are used in the construction of these rugs and what you have is a completely eclectic array of Bokhara rugs, each one completely different from the other.

In fact, despite the design dominance, no two rugs are exactly the same and therein lies the beauty of these dazzling hand knotted rugs.

Different Types Of Bokhara Rugs And Their Patterns

Although the main features remain similar, because they are woven by various nomadic tribes, there are variations in the shapes and the dyes of the guls. The Yomut, Tekke and Salor tribes created some of the most popular types of Bokhara rugs that are in demand all over the world.

Here are some of the distinguishing features of the rugs created by each of these tribes.

Salor Bokhara rugs – One of the rarer varieties of Bokhara rugs, Salor Bokharas were manufactured by the Salor tribe who lived and traveled just North of the Afghan border. Salor Bokhara rugs are easily identifiable by their deep, rich shade of red. 

Their patterns usually feature at least one row of symmetrical octagons with a smaller diamond or octagon shape within each border. Floral patterns fill the interiors of these shapes.

 These rugs have a red field with two rows of octagonal guls running parallel down the length of the rug. The octagons themselves are elaborately designed, with one octagonal motif within another. The innermost octagon is divided into 4 quarters.

Tekke Bokhara

There are two types of Tekke Bokharas – Princess (prayer rugs) and Royal (non-prayer) tugs – each of which can be relatively easy to identify.

• Princess Bokhara rugs (Prayer)– These are primarily created as prayer rugs and their designs reflect this. The core of the rug features a hand-stitched mihrab that indicates the quibla wall, which points in the direction of the Kaaba in the holy city of Mecca. 

The field of the rug is divided into 4 quarters by upright mihrabs with a separating crossbar. Dark indigo blue bands of patterns that resemble candlesticks adorn each of the quarters of the field.

Royal Bokhara rugs (none-Prayer) – The distinguishing feature of Royal Bokhara rugs is their windowpane design. This consists of several rows of elongated octagons that are joined together both vertically and horizontally. Blue lines that run vertically and horizontally cut the octagonal motifs into 4 quarters. 

Yomud Bokhara rugs – Created by the Yomud tribe that traveled across Central Asia, the designs found in Yomud Bokharas closely resemble Caucasian designs.

A deep red field created using Turkish or Persian style knots is the distinguishing feature of Bokhara rugs. The rug is usually divided into four parts by a beautiful Greek cross. A simple but beautiful white woven octagon is enclosed in each of the four parts. 

 A Greek cross that divides the field into four parts is the most commonly seen Yomud design. Each of the quarters features a small white woven octagon.

Contrasting Construction

Bokhara rugs are almost always wool pile woven on either a wool or a cotton foundation. 

New Zealand wool is commonly used in the construction and this gives the rugs a shiny, glossy appearance that looks similar to silk.

New Zealand Wool

The choice of foundation is usually determined by the region where the rug is being constructed. Originally these rugs were made by the Tekke tribe from the Bokhara area in Central Asia.

Bokhara rugs are made from 100% wool pile. What’s interesting is this wool is a blend of wool obtained from New Zealand and Pakistan. 

The two types of wool are woven together to create a unique blend that is then used in weaving Bokhara rugs. 

The Pakistani wool has a softer, silkier texture while the New Zealand wool is relatively coarser. Blending these two together produces a wool that is soft and luxurious without compromising on the durability of the rug

While Bokhara rugs are known for their thick, lush pile, this dense thickness can often detract from the design of the rug in that the outlines of the various design forms are blurry. So when you look for these types of rugs, you will essentially find that there are two qualities. 

One is the rugs that are left thick for their luxuriant quality and the other is the single pile rugs that are closely clipped so their intricate designs are clearly visible with crisp, clean outlines. The design itself is versatile and can fit in with most interior decor styles.

Creative Colorations

While these rugs come in a wide array of colors, only a few select top colors are used in each individual rug. Although they look strikingly colorful, each Bokhara rug actually features less than six top colors. 

It is in fact very rare to find a Bokhara rug that has more than six different top colors. Whatever colors are used are traditionally bold hues.

Red and rust fields are most common with other popular colors being ivory, teal, orange, black, green, rose, slate, peach and navy.

Weaving Techniques Used

Most Bokhara rug weavers using the Ghordies knot or Senna to make their creations. Both of these are types of Turkish weaving techniques. This style of weaving adds to the durability of the rugs.

Typical Sizes Of Bokhara

Bokhara rugs come in a wide range of dimensions. Smaller rugs can be found in these sizes: 2×3, 3×5, 4×6, and 5×7 feet. Medium Bokhara rugs can be found in 6×9 and 7×10 feet while larger rugs are available in 8×10, 9×12 feet

You can also find Bokhara runner rugs measuring anywhere between 2ft-3ft x 7ft to 20ft.

Their superior workmanship, timeless designs, attractive colors and higher durability make Bokhara rugs a worthwhile investment. And with the wide range of sizes available, you know you can find one for just about any space, no matter how big or small.

 

 

 

Bokhara Rugs: A Treat For The Eyes & For The Feet

When you see a Pakistani Bokhara rug, you’ll know it immediately. These rugs have a few unmistakable traits that make them unique and easily identifiable. The most prominent feature of a Bokhara rug is its design. The trademark style consists of geometric motifs called Guls, which usually appear in recurring rows. The background and the design elements are hand knotted using a wide array of deep, rich, vibrant colors that add to their charm and beauty. While in some rugs the pile is left longer than usual for a dense, lush look, in others the pile is trimmed to give the rugs a sharper, cleaner finish.

The Gul: A Hallmark Feature In Bokhara Rugs

The gul is essentially a stylized geometric motif with eight sides. The shape tends to be more oblong rather an even-sided octagonal shape. Within that basic definition, there are several variations in size, shape, design and color combinations so that it is extremely rare to see two rugs with the same gul design.
Even the way they are placed can differ widely, with the columns and rows placed at diversely spaced intervals and other design elements scattered in between.

Designing a Bokhara Rug

When you consider that the construction and design of a Bokhara rug is governed by very definite guidelines, the sheer variety of rugs available is amazing. This stems from the fact that these rugs are hand knotted and as such, how they turn out really depends upon the weaver’s personal style. The weavers play around with various color combinations together with differently styled guls to give the finished piece a look that is distinctive from all others. Different weavers use different hand knotting styles, adding to the uniqueness of the finished Bokhara rug.

Selective Use Of Colors

In addition to the characteristic gul design, another very distinguishing attribute of Bokhara rugs is the way the colors are used. Each individual rug actually features only 5 to 6 top colors. Very rarely will a Bokhara rug feature more top colors than that. Weavers select their colors very creatively so that when woven in, anybody looking at the finished rug would hardly ever notice that only limited colors have been used in the creation of the rug. In fact, the finished rugs look so colorful with their bold shades and clever interplay of colors that they seem to be woven using numerous colors. Colors most commonly used in Bokhara rugs include red, orange, rust, black, teal, navy, peach, green, slate and rose.

Diverse Constructions Add To The Variety

The foundation of Bokhara rugs is usually cotton or wool and so is the pile. The final finish of the rugs depends on the origin of the wool used to weave the pile. Wool that is sourced from local regions give the rugs a more rustic appearance whereas wool imported from countries such as New Zealand gives the rugs a more lustrous appearance.
The length of the pile also adds character to these rugs. Rugs with a longer pile are denser and softer but tend to compromise the integrity of the design whereas the design outlines are more clearly demarcated in rugs with a shorter pile.