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Khal Mohammadi Rugs

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History of Khal Mohammadi Rugs

One of my favorite productions from the Afghan refugee camps in Pakistan is called Khal Mohammadi. I am puzzled about where their designs spring from. They are recognizably Turkmen in character, but unlike any Turkmen designs I have seen.

Khal Mohammadi rugs are characterized by their usually coppery-colored fields, by their highly lustrous finish, their usually clean, neat, and tidy appearance, and by the decorative, flat-woven finish on either end. Typically, they are heavier-bodied and finer-knotted than Kampbaff rugs. They are, to me, a welcome departure from the typical red, large-gul Afghan rugs that for decades were almost the only Turkmen rugs available.

Like so many of the rugs in the market now that I admire, just ten or fifteen years ago they weren’t made. Most sizes are available, though it is very hard to find a true 8 by 10 or 9 by 12.

For the past two years we have seen in the market a small production of a variant Khal Mohammadi. These are finer knotted than their cousins and are woven with what is said to be Beljik (Belgian) wool.

Belgian wool? Perhaps. They look to me to be made from New Zealand wool. In any case, they are lustrous and very-impressive. They cost about twice as much as regular Khal Mohammadis.

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