War Carpet Designs


Medallions are a primary indentification motif in rugs from around the world. Afghan rugs, particularly Baluchi rugs, have a variety of medallions used by artists in particular regions.

Examples of war rug Medallion
Eight lobe Baluchi medallion. Unusual features are light field and bright colors.


Borders are like hedges surrounding a garden. Many rugs have three borders, a main border surrounded by minor borders, or guard stripes. Regions, towns, families, and weavers have their own border designs, so borders are a good way to identify and group rugs. The curator of several important war rug exhibitions, Ariel Zeitlin Cooke, finds borders to be a primary identifier of rug origins.

Examples of war rug Border
The main, or center, border in this rug is typically Taimini. The white border and eight pointed stars are what make it Taimani.

Prayer Niche

Directional Motif at the top of a prayer rug

Examples of war rug Prayer Niche
Unusual landscape element as mihrab.


Kilim or pile design, located outside of border on top or bottom of rug

Examples of war rug Skirt
This is unusual, the border is a very narrow, single stripe surrounding the field, with a skirt on top and bottom. The skirt is, oddly, a traditional border design.