Peshawar or Pishavar Area Rugs

Peshawar (also know as Pishavar) is an ancient city located in northern Pakistan. In 1849 the city was annexed by the British Raj, and it was part of India until the division with Pakistan in 1947. The Peshawar Muslim population has woven rugs and carpets since the late eighteenth century. Peshawar carpets were produced under the supervision of foreign companies. Persian floral designs were featured in weavings made in this city. After Pakistan independence, the weavers adopted Turkmen Gul (flower) motifs and began making Bukhara or Bokhara carpet styles. For approximately two decades, Peshawar weavers mostly followed Bokhara patterns, which were fashionable in the West. After this period, they began to weave a wider variety of carpets with several design and quality levels in accordance with world market demand. By the second half of the twentieth century, numerous Peshawar carpets were produced for the European market. This had a considerable positive impact on the economy of the Peshawar-area population. The rugs are made with a cotton foundation, a wool pile, and the Persian (asymmetric) knot. Reds, ivory, or dark blue are primarily woven for the field and borders. Greens, grays, browns, light blue, gold, and other colors are utilized for the design elements and, at times, the borders and background. In the late twentieth century, Peshawar rugs and carpets with a silk foundation and a silk pile were also manufactured. Formats range from small mats to large room-size carpets, as well as runners and gallery sizes.