Afghan Qalin (or Afghan carpet) is a type of handwoven floor-covering textile. It is traditionally made in Afghanistan. Many of the Afghan Qalin are also woven by Afghan refugees who reside in Pakistan. In 2008, 2013 and 2014, Afghan Qalin won international awards, which is held every year in Hamburg, Germany. The Afghan rugs are mostly assembled in northern and western Afghanistan, by various ethnic groups but mainly by Turkmen.
Shindand or Adraskan (named after local Afghan towns) is one of the most exotic and distinctive of all oriental rugs. It is woven in the Herat Province, in western Afghanistan. Strangely elongated human and animal figures are their signature look.
The carpet can be sold across Afghanistan with the most based in Mazar-e Sharif. Another staple of Afghanistan is Baluchi rugs, most notably Baluchi prayer rugs. Made by Afghanistan’s Baloch people in the south-western part of the country.
The Afghan Qalin
Various vegetable and natural dyes are used to produce the rich colors. The afghan Qalins are mostly of medium sizes. Many patterns and colors are used. The traditional and most typical is that of the octagonal elephant’s foot (Bukhara) print. It is often with a red background. The weavers also produce other trappings of the nomadic lifestyle. It includes tent bags and ceremonial pieces.
According to the U.S. Department of Labor 2014 report on child labor and forced labor. Afghanistan is one of the 74 countries listed to have registered significant child labor incidence in the manufacture of carpets.
The terms Baluch and war rug are generalisations given to the genre by rug dealers, commercial galleries, collectors, critics and commentators. The distinctive characteristic of these rugs is their capacity. It conveys their makers’ experiences and interpretations of the circumstances and politics of war and conflict in the region.