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
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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