Afshar rugs are woven by nomads and villagers residing between the cities of Shiraz, Kerman, and Yazd in southeastern Iran. Afshar style, like most Persian styles, is copied by other areas of Iran as well as other countries such as India, China and Pakistan.
The carpets have red and blue color tones and mostly geometrical patterns. The most common pattern contains a large center piece with one or more squared medallions, some say that this symbolizes a hide stretched for preparation. Today, medallions also occur and are typical of the Afshar carpets as they are also relatively wide in relation to its length.
In the nearby city of Shahr Babak similar carpets are manufactured, with a higher density and with more detailed patterns. Afshar carpets are also known on the market under the name of Sirdjan.
Afshar is the name of one of the leading tribes of erstwhile Persia, the present Iran. These nomadic and semi-nomadic tribesmen are skilled weavers in the area south of Kerman (a city in Iran). Since centuries, the weavers have been responsible for making hand crafted articles for daily purposes ranging from bags, saddlebags, wall hangings, tent coverings, rugs and carpets that are still seen today.
Exquisite Afshar carpets and rugs are woven in either symmetrical or asymmetrical knotting styles displaying a vast variation between the decoration styles. Such a difference is created because some of the Afshar carpets were woven with followed traditional motifs whereas others exhibited ornamental ones woven in the nearby workshops in the city.
Gorgeous ornamental Afshar designs consist of motifs like medallions with cruciform or rhomboidal superimposed medallion layouts appearing on a background of floral elements. The rest of the field embellished with the stylized animals existing side-by-side along with other motifs adopted from nomadic or tribal influence. The elaborate tribal Afshar carpets and rugs flaunt geometric figures or morghi motif (hens as morghi in Persian language) distributed around in rows encircling a medallion or a rhomboidal medallion. The borders are adorned with vines decorated with rosettes (any part, arrangement, or object, formation more or less resembling a rose) or only with rosettes. Tribal Afshar motifs are genuinely inspired from the domestic objects of their daily lives.
Stylized Afshar rugs and carpets are identified with yarn colors to contrast dark backgrounds. Colors like white, red, yellow or green in a background of black are used freely. Similarly, brighter backgrounds see threads in paler shades.
Such rugs and carpets with Afshar designs and weaving style are synonyms of durability and quality. Historic pieces with the similar taste and example are still seen today, which are loved by people worldwide.