Traditional Kurdish rugs are quite different from their Persian Bokhara counterparts. Both are hand-knotted and have a storied tradition among their cultures, but the price, materials, designs, and colors are different which makes them equally unique.
Kurdish Rug Features
Kurdish rugs tend to include complex designs and many colors. The craftsmen and women who knot the rugs weave a bit of their own stories into the design, including clan signs and other symbols of their culture. The Kurdish weavers are also known to create motifs that represent elements of their own lives or dreams, making each design personal. Older rugs of this type often feature floral patterns. Kurdish rugs are made with a variety of wool types and might also include camel hair.
Bokhara Rug Features
Bokhara rugs are almost always made with 100 percent high quality wool. Instead of colorful patterns, as seen in Kurdish pieces, Bokhara designs are predominately red and feature motifs in a few other hues. The quality materials couple with high knot counts to make these rugs both soft and durable, so they're a favorite in living rooms and dining spaces.
Telling Rug Types Apart
Most Persian or oriental rugs include a label that provides information about where and how it was made. That's the easiest way a collector, owner or buyer can tell whether a rug is Kurdish or Persian.
Absent a label, the most tell-tale factor is the knotting. Persian Bokhara rugs are usually knotted asymmetrically; Kurdish rugs are knotted symmetrically. Symmetric knots feature loops that move outward, under and join back at the center, with the thread running back up together. In asymmetrical knots, the threads do not come back together.
Knowing whether a rug is Bokhara or Kurdish helps buyers and sellers better understand both the provenance and value of the piece. When bidding on rugs in online auctions, always ask for information about the origins of the piece.