Baluchi carpets (or Baluch or Beluchi carpets) are handmade carpets originally made by Baluch nomads, living near the borders of Iran, Pakistan and Afghanistan. About 70% live in the main part in Pakistan. Smaller groups of Baluch nomads also live in Bahrain, and in the Punjab and Sindh provinces of India.

The carpets are often small with lively patterns, and praying carpets are common. The dominant colours are red, brown and dark blue. The warp is made of wool or a mixture of wool and goat hair; some newer carpets have a warp made of cotton.The carpets sold in the city of Mashad in Iran are known as Mashad-Baluch carpets, and those sold in the city of Herat in Afghanistan as Herat-Baluch carpets.

Today I bought this 100% wool Iranian one in the city of Sao Paulo in Brazil, bargaining for a good price in the time-honoured fashion. My friend in the literary cafe said it was a good colour to have in an apartment, a “happy” colour. It’s more red than the photo shows, especially in natural light, and it had the thickest pile of the smaller carpets the dealers had on their stall at the Praca Benedicto Calixto market. And I guess I know something new about John Belushi too.