News ID: 234406
Published: 0327 GMT November 17, 2018

Iranian carpets still hold own on international markets

Iranian carpets still hold own on international markets

Despite recent technological advances, Iran's traditional carpet industry still appears to maintain its competitive edge.

"What we do is an art, and art does not die," Khaled Karami, an Iranian carpet maker told Anadolu Agency on Saturday.

Handwoven Persian rugs have a worldwide reputation due to their high quality and value.

It takes almost two years from two people to weave a six-square meter Persian carpet. It is made by transferring wool trimmed from sheep into twines and dying them before weaving them into carpets.

Once this process is over, webs are attached to the rugs and put on display for sale.

The Persian rug is a big business in the Islamic Republic.

According to estimates by the Iran's Industry Ministry, the country produces around 400 tons of handwoven carpets annually — the sweeping majority of which are exported to world countries.

One of Iran's top exports, the rug business employs around 2.5 million people in the country.

"Iran earns some $400 million through handwoven carpets," Fereshteh Dastpak, the head of Iranian National Carpet Center said.

Carpet business in Iran dates back to the founding of the Persian Empire more than 2,500 years ago and master weavers passed down their skills for generations.



Valuable rugs

The carpet industry was recently placed in the second round of sanctions imposed by the US on Iran after the former withdrew from a 2015 nuclear deal.

"Sales have recently declined due to the rising cost of materials and falling value of the local currency," Hossein Jeyhani, an Iranian carpet maker told Anadolu Agency.

Praising the high value of Persian rugs, Jeyhani said he has an 80-year-old carpet in his own store.

"Although it has been used for 80 years, it looks brand new," he said.

"A carpet can easily be used for 100 years.

"The manufactured carpets are relatively popular due to their cheap prices, however, those who are aware of the quality and value of hand-woven rugs will not prefer the manufactured ones, no matter how cheap they are."

Darioush Hatef, another rug maker, said they export to Canada, but imports from countries as Pakistan and India have affected their rug exports.

"To us, the manufactured carpets are more expensive than the handwoven," he said.

"Chemical materials are used [for mass-produced carpets] whereas the handwoven rugs include straight wool," he said.

"The cost caused by the carpets produced by chemical materials is far superior. There is not much difference in terms of price."

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