Peshawar Rugs

Peshawar designs beautiful and elegant rugs that are inspired by antique and traditional Persian rug designs.

The name used to identify these rugs can sometimes cause confusion, as Peshawar rugs are also known as Chobi rugs, Chobi Peshawar rugs or sometimes Ziegler rugs.

History of Peshawar Rugs: The Start of Something Great

Woven by Afghan weavers in the Peshawar regions of Pakistan, Peshawar rugs echo the rugged terrain that they are manufactured in. These rugs are knotted using locally available wool that is completely spun by hand.

The colors are all obtained from natural vegetable dyes. The rugs have a fine knot and the designs are influenced by the Kazak and the Caucasian Shirvan styles.

2-Minute Explanation of Peshawar Rugs

map showing location of peshawar rugs
Where Peshawar Rugs are Made

The capital city of the North West Frontier province in Pakistan, Peshawar is located on the Pakistan – Afghanistan border.

Although it is now as famous as a significant carpet manufacturing center, it wasn’t always so. Because of its location at the border, this city was at first an important centre for trade and commerce in the region.

The Interesting Story Behind Peshawar Rugs

There are no records that show exactly when the local tribes began weaving rugs in this area but it is thought that it was the ancient Scythians who probably introduced it.

Later, in the 16th century, the Moghul emperor Akbar set up several rug weaving workshops in his imperial court but because the weavers had only a rudimentary knowledge of the craft, he brought in Persian weavers to teach the locals the finer techniques of weaving.

Although these rugs which were woven in the court workshops resembled the Persian rugs in weave and design, they were certain differences between the two. Soon, a new Moghul style began to emerge from the workshops.

When Pakistan got its independence in 1947, recognizing the need for employment and industry, the new government granted subsidies to the Pakistani rug-weaving industry, which was still quite small at the time. This financial aid was all that was needed to give the country’s nascent rug making industry a push and soon Pakistan announced its arrival as one of the world’s leading manufacturers of hand knotted oriental rugs.

Characteristics Of Peshawar Rugs

“Video Transcription: Hi and welcome to introduction to Peshawar rugs, also known as Chobi rug. So these rugs are manufactured in the city of Peshawar, located in the northeastern region of Pakistan. And although these rugs look antique, they’re actually newly made, and the reason is that Peshawar designs are inspired by traditional Persian designs. You can see many similarities in between the designs of these rugs and antique Perhan Persian rugs found in museums throughout the world.

So, Peshawar rugs are treated to get this antique look. These rugs are made with natural dye and hand-spun wool. And at first, their colors are much darker. But then they are stone-washed and placed in strong sunlight and it’s because of this treatment that Peshawar rugs has this beautiful antique finish. And you will notice that these rugs look and feel somewhat thin, yet they are still very durable and woven with the finest quality hand-spun wool.

Now, most Peshawar rugs have a beige tone throughout the rug. But they also come in a variety of other colors, such as this blue one right here, and this orangish-red one over here. Now, these rugs also offer a few different patterns. For example, let’s take a look at a Peshawar rug with a floral all over pattern.

And also, we can take a look at another Peshawar rug with a repeating floral pattern. The very attractive feature about these Peshawar rugs is that they offer beautiful designs of antique rugs combined with colors that are complimentary to almost any decor.”

Peshawar rugs have a wool pile and cotton weft and warp. Occasionally weavers used natural or artificial silk in the pile when they wanted to highlight the features of certain special motifs. Some of the higher quality Peshawar rugs are woven using local wool blended with fine merino wool.

Imported from Australia, New Zealand and Korea, merino wool is stronger, has a higher lanolin content and a longer staple, which gives the rugs a sleeker finish and also makes them more durable. And although Peshawar Rugs may look antique, they are newly made. Interestingly, there are many similarities between Peshawar rugs and Antique Persian rugs found in museums throughout the world.

New Peshawar Rugs with Antique Finished
New Peshawar Rugs with Antique Finish
Antique and Authentic Peshawar Rug
12’x18′ Antique Persian Peshawar – only in mesuems 

The color composition used for these rugs is complementary to most decorations, whether antique or modern.

These rugs are finely knotted using two types of weaves – the Persian weave and the Mori weave. The dyes are all natural, vegetable dyes obtained from the native flora of the region.

The weavers of this region favor more subtle colors such as ivory and golden tones, which gives the rugs their typical washed-out or antique patina. But many variations of colors are also offered. These colors include red, blue, orange-red, green, brown and more.

The weaving technique and the natural dyes are what give the Peshawar rugs their distinctive abrash quality, a term that describes the gently varying shades of color that can be seen in the pile of the rugs.


Beautiful Antique Finish

These rugs are treated to get the beautiful antique finish. When Peshawar rugs are initially weaved, their colors are much brighter and bolder. So in order to get the antique look, they are put through a traditional antique treatment. First their pile is cut shorter until it reaches a medium thickness.

Then the rug goes through a stone washing process comparable to the process used on jeans. And at last, Peshawar rugs are placed in strong sunlight, which subdues their initial bold colors and give them the beautiful antique finish.

These rugs have an attractive natural luster along with a durable pile that can hold up to all intensities of foot traffic. If you would like to learn more, please visit our blog post about Peshawar rugs.


Persian rugs being dried
Process of Antique Finishing Rugs. Rug are placed In Strong Natural Sunlight

Peshawar Rugs Are Also Known As Oushak Rugs

Peshawar rugs are also known as Oushak Rugs. This is because of the similarity between their designs and the Oushak Design.

Oushak rugs are a type of Turkish rug. They originated in a small town named Oushak, which is located just south of Istanbul, Turkey in the region of west-central Anatolia. The weavers in this region were fascinated by Persian designs, which greatly influenced their creations.

Typical Oushak Design

Oushak rugs are known for their monumental scale of design. These rugs almost always feature an oversized and elaborated embellished central medallion. This central medallion is surrounded by elaborate vine scrolls, airy geometric motifs, stylized palmettes, floral motifs, and other botanicals scattered liberally around it. The use of smaller sized motifs in an all-over pattern surrounding the elaborate central medallion gives the design a grand, majestic look.

Another distinctive feature of Oushak rugs is the colors that are used and the finish of naturally aged patina. The rich hues that are used are naturally faded by placing the rug in the sun so they acquire a softer tone as well as the aged patina look that is hugely popular. Not only does the faded effect give the rug a more grand look, it also makes it more versatile as the colors adapt beautifully to any existing décor without clashing.

Peshawar rugs have almost similar characteristics as these Turkish rugs, especially in terms of the designs and colors, which explains why they are often referred to as Oushak rugs.



Characteristics & History Of Peshawar Rugs (Also known Chobi Rugs and Ziegler Rugs)

As with most types of oriental rugs, Peshawar rugs too are named after the region they are manufactured in-Peshawar. Located on the border of Pakistan and Afghanistan, in early days Peshawar was a significant commerce and trade centre in the region. Today, it is renowned worldwide for the fabulous rugs that are created here and exported all over the world.

History Of Peshawar Rugs

While no written records exist as to when weaving began in this region, the story has it that the basic techniques were first introduced to the local tribes by the ancient Scythians. The tribes continued weaving rugs using these basic techniques until around the 16th century. During this time, in an effort to make the art of rug weaving more widespread, Moghul emperor Akbar began establishing workshops for weaving rugs.

To enhance the weavers’ skills, Persian weavers were brought in as tutors or mentor. Under their guidance, the local weavers learnt newer and more complicated techniques and honed their rug making skills. The finished rugs looked almost like their Persian counterparts but there were a few dissimilarities between the two. The new types of rugs that were thus created were called Peshawar rugs.

The rug weaving industry in Pakistan did not get regulated till 1947. The new government of newly independent Pakistan, recognized the potential of this industry and began to grant subsidies that allowed the small time weavers to buy better equipment and produce more rugs of higher quality. This move paid off and the Peshawar rugs that were manufactured were soon good enough to be able to hold their own over other types of oriental rugs.

Features of Peshawar Rugs

Peshawar rugs are hand knotted Oriental rugs that are usually created using locally spun wool. The pile of these rugs is usually made of wool, with silk being used to accentuate motifs occasionally. The weft and warp of the rugs were generally made of cotton. Merino wool from New Zealand, Australia or Korea is sometimes used to give the rugs additional durability and a silkier touch.

Two types of weaves are used in the manufacture of Peshawar rugs. One is the Mori weave and the other is the Persian weave. The designs that are used are in great part influenced by a combination of the Caucasian Shirvan style as well as the Kazak style. The rugs are manufactures in a wide range of sizes and shapes from standard sizes to oversizes and from runners to rounds.

The tribal weavers used only dyes from plants and vegetables that were native to the region. The two distinctive shades of Peshawar rugs are golden and ivory. The choice of colors gives the rugs their distinctive antique appearance and the weaving techniques give the finished rugs that subtle variation in shades that is characteristic of Peshawar rugs. The finished product is a majestic execution of faultless design and a stunningly understated palette.