Journey with Pfister through Pakistan Ziegler and Afghan Kelmis carpets

At the end of October 2016, our buyers were on a shopping roundtrip in Turkey, Iran and Pakistan. In all three countries, a lot of work is being dedicated to the development of new products and the further development of the existing qualities of oriental carpets.

On our second journey to the Orient, our buyers set off for Pakistan. The focus was on Ziegler and Afghan Kelmis carpets, which are washed and refined in Lahore. The Pakistan Ziegler actually has Swiss roots. Named after a Swiss fabric manufacturer named Ziegler, who imported these carpets to Europe and to the USA in the 19th century, the Pakistan Ziegler are now more up-to-date than ever thanks to their soft colours and large-area patterns.

The journey began directly in Lahore, an area in eastern Pakistan.

Street scene in Lahore


The main means of transport in Lahore is the motorcycle. As there are always lots of people on the roads, motorcycles are particularly good. Comparable to an anthill, these motorcycles drive wildly through the streets of Lahore.

The carpets are being washed


The carpets, which are knotted in Afghanistan, come to Lahore to be refined. First of all the carpets are scrubbed with a metal scraper while using a lot of water. The loose wool and dye residue are dissolved from the carpet pile. 

Afghan washing team


Washing the carpets is a physically very strenuous task because the work can take several hours before it can continue on to the next step, drying the carpet.

Drying the carpets


After washing, the carpets are unfolded and dried in the sun for 4 to 6 days.

Every available surface is used


Since there often is a lack of space in between all of the carpets, every space is utilised for the drying. Even walls and roofs offer a good place to dry the carpets in the hot sun.

On to the finishing


When the carpets are dry, they are taken to the finish for further processing. There are further work steps. For example, the fringes of the carpets are added, the seams are made, and the pile is again checked and shortened.

Cutting the pile through a rotating blade


The Kelims also undergo the same cleaning process. Here, the flat weaves are sorted and prepared for the fringe work. The fringes are shortened and knotted.

The fringes are shortened by hand


As with the Kilims, the fringes are also by the Pakistan Ziegler shortened by hand and subsequently knotted.


The carpet is checked for unevenness by hand after washing and assembling. Depending on the effort involved, this step can take up to 1-2 days.

Inspection of unevenness


The team in the Finish Department



After each carpet has been through washing and been finished up, they come to the warehouse. There, the finished product is checked by our buyer piece by piece, which is when talking about several thousand pieces, very hard work.

After work happiness


Also with these oriental carpets, it takes a long time before a carpet for Pfister has been worked on enough for it to be seen in our stores and in the online shop.


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Author: pfister

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