Afshar carpets are knotted by the Afshar tribe, a now permanently settled nomadic tribe that live around the city of Kerman in south eastern Iran. For several centuries they lived a nomadic lifestyle in the north western part of Iran, but were compulsorily relocated to today’s area, where carpet making still features as an important part of business for the tribe.
Afshar carpets are made of high quality wool and are typically characterized by a rust and blue colour palette, sometimes also featuring elements of lighter colours. The design variation is very diverse making Afshar carpets some of the best examples of nomadic art available. The tribal artistry is widely expressed and today carpets with stylized birds and floral geometric designs can be found as well as angular medallion designs with larger center pieces said to symbolize a stretched animal hide.
Afshar carpets tend to be relatively wide in relation to their length and are therefore very sought after for modern homes. Larger sized carpets are a very rare find and smaller ones are much more common.
Carpets from the province are also sold under the name of Sirjan and in the neighbouring city of Shahr Babak similar carpets are produced and sold under the name Afshar Shahr Babak, with a higher knot density and more detailed intricate patterns.