Bokhara Rugs

 

Bokhara Rugs


 
Bokhara rugs are noted for their unique design and silk-like texture. Bokhara rugs have a smaller overall geometric patterning and are available in a variety of sizes. Bokhara designs such as the octagonal Tekke 'gull' motif as well as the elephant foot are favorites among collectors who proudly display these as either wall hangings or in areas that have less traffic to preserve their beauty.

Bokhara rugs perform better when placed over a hard surface such as ceramic tile or hardwood, this due in large part to their being a thinner and more flexible woven rug than others. They effectively blend such colors as reds, greens, browns, and other earth tones which contribute nicely to their warm and inviting appeal.

Bokhara rugs are typically woven with a cotton warp and weft, although the original ones made by the Turkomans almost always used wool as a foundation. Bokharas today are made with wool and get their 'silky' appearance by having a artificial silk inlay (cotton that has gone through a process that produces a smooth, lustrous finish) although in the more expensive ones, actual silk will be used.

Bokhara rug quality is determined by 'stitch' count and yarn content. An example of a poor quality piece would be one with only 50 or so knots per square inch. This would be considered  loosely woven by any standards, especially when compared to ones with a 300 knots per square inch rating. Ones of the tightly woven variety would (depending on condition) more likely be a collectors item due to the significantly higher value placed on it. No matter what though, any with artificial silk used to improve surface luster would never be considered 'high' or collector quality.

Bokhara rugs are produced in a region around the city of Lahore. Bokhara rugs got their name from 'Bukhara' a city in Uzbekistan, and their history dates back centuries earlier to the Turkomans which were situated to the north of what is now called Afghanistan. The Turkomans were an industrious people who would barter their trade for food, clothing , etc. which they couldn't produce themselves. As a result, their weavings would invariably show up in bazaars (a type of trading zone) in cities such as Bukhara, hence the name. The Tekkes mentioned at the outset, were a Turkoman tribe noted for their medallion designs. These became actual 'totems' (a token or emblem of a tribe, clan or family).

A Bokharas thickness is determined by whether or not the piece is 'clipped' or not. This practice will also produce the much desired 'silk' look to the surface, but additionally will help bring out and highlight their intricate design pattern. Although these are the most desired, ones that are left thick and 'unclipped' can also be considered high quality and be sought by collectors. Again, the most important factor in determining quality is knot count. When appraising value, first evaluate the overall appearance of the particular piece. Are there any obvious flaws such as a botched repair or are stains apparent? Are the colors unfaded, crisp and bright? Next, is it from a region known for their producing high quality?

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