Rug and Textile Appreciation Morning: The Intrigue of Baluch Rugs

Detail of a textile with a diamond motif at the center surrounded by rectangular bands and rosettes
Bag face, northeastern Iran, late 19th century. The Textile Museum Collection 2009.24.3. Gift of Joseph W. Fell.


The set of rugs bought, sold and collected under the catch-all name “Baluch” actually includes the products of a number of weaving groups in different areas of northeast Iran and northwest Afghanistan. Trying to sort them out and deduce inter-relationships is, for some, one of the intrigues of Baluch rugs.

Because of the number of different tribal groups in the areas these rugs and bags are made, there is a wide variety of styles, techniques and color palettes. In addition to certain iconic types, there is an uncommon diversity of idiosyncratic, creative mixing of designs and styles. The most exciting examples of Baluch weaving all use outstanding wool, enabling intensely saturated colors.

While acknowledging that real understanding of Baluch rugs requires handling them, this virtual presentation led by DeWitt Mallary will look at pictures of many of the finest examples of Baluch rugs and bags of various types, and discuss what makes them outstanding, letting the objects demonstrate the intrigue of this group of weavings.

This program is a partnership with the New England Rug Society and Textile Museum Associates of Southern California.

About DeWitt Mallary

DeWitt Mallary collected Baluch rugs for about 20 years and has been a dealer in a wide variety of antique weaving for almost another two decades. He has written and lectured, primarily about Baluch rugs, around the United States and Europe, including presenting and curating exhibitions at International Conference on Oriental Carpets, American Conference on Oriental Rugs and The Textile Museum. Mallary edited the English edition of Jurg Rageth’s book Turkmen Carpets: A New Perspective and teaches assorted rug courses at Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at Dartmouth.

How to Participate

This program will take place on Zoom. To participate, please register online, and we will email you a link and instructions for joining. Simply follow that link at the time the program starts (12 p.m. EST / 9 a.m. PST). When you register, you can also request to receive a reminder email one day before the program with the link included.

About Rug and Textile Appreciation Mornings

Collectors and experts discuss textile topics and display examples from their personal holdings. This series is named in honor of late Textile Museum trustee emeritus, Harold M. Keshishian. Browse upcoming programs