Carpet Weaving In Iran – Iranian men repair carpets in the Grand Bazaar of the capital Tehran on September 30, 2020. Photo: AFP / Atta Kenare
Iran’s carpet industry, once a trademark of Persian culture and a major source of oil and gas export revenue, will be dismantled under the twin penalties of US sanctions and recession. economy due to Covid-19.
Carpet Weaving In Iran
Experts and analysts say that without significant government aid and investment, the fast-growing export industry typically employs 2.5 million people and provides businesses with a means of survival. Associated industries with up to 10 million people will soon be dominated by national goods competing in regional and global markets. markets. Warning.
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Local media reports that up to one million Iranians involved in the carpet industry have lost their jobs.
Iran’s carpet industry survived the chaos of the 1979 revolution and the Iran-Iraq war in the 1980s. Today, some major cities such as Gorgan, Heris, Isfahan, Kashan, Kerman, Mashhad, Tabriz and Qom are small centers for carpet production with styles and designs specific to each region.
Due to the sophistication of the materials used and the effort and time required for each finished rug, this product is very expensive, ranging from $500 to $50,000.
Several factors determine the price of a Persian rug, including the number of knots per square inch, from 60 to 1,000 knots per inch for more luxury, the use of hand-spun yarn versus machine-spun, the use of natural dyes. , size and design.
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Carpet weaving in Iran boasts a history of at least 2,500 years, with generations meticulously passing down the skill and art of carpet making to their descendants. ruler of the Persian Empire 1588-1629.
A woman walks past a carpet shop in Tehran’s commercial district. Handmade carpets are highly valued by Iranians. Photo: Morteza Nikoubazl/NurPhoto/AFP
The oldest hand-knotted oriental rug in the world, the Pazyryk rug, was found in the Altai Mountains of Siberia in 1948.
Century BC, which is kept in the Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg, Russia, its design and manufacture are almost unanimously ancient Iran.
Persian Carpets In Yazd, Iran Stock Photo
Today, countries as diverse as Afghanistan, Belgium, Canada, China, Egypt, India, Morocco, the Netherlands and Turkey have domestic carpet industries, although experts insist many places produce cheap Iranian designs and motifs.
The largest exporter of factory-made carpets. According to officials from the Ministry of Industry, Mines and Trade, the total value of exports that year reached nearly $300 million.
In the same year, Iran’s exports of handmade carpets accounted for 10.9% of world trade, behind only India and Egypt.
The US is often the top destination for Iranian rugs as demand has been rising in recent years. Despite years of tension, Persian rugs have found creative ways to reach US shores.
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These exports are so important to Iran’s economy and US business interests that a paragraph of the now-cancelled Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action on the nuclear deal specifically states that the United States will “allow the importation of carpets of Iranian origin into the United States.” ” as well as food products.
In 2017, when the JCPOA was still in effect, Iran was the world’s leading exporter of handmade carpets, with $125.6 million worth of exports to the United States. In 2018, after President Donald Trump canceled the JCPOA and imposed broad sanctions, Iran’s exports to the United States plummeted, including carpet shipments.
According to Iran’s National Carpet Center, carpet exports from the Persian Gulf country totaled $238.4 million in 2018, falling to $70.5 million by 2019.
In addition to US sanctions blocking Iran’s lucrative markets in North America and secondary sanctions banning trade partners with Iran, the Covid-19 pandemic has also hit the industry.
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In the city of Tabriz, one of Iran’s carpet production centers, there are 1,100 textile factories, 400 carpet processing centers, 95 carpet cleaning services and 2,200 retailers on the verge of bankruptcy and closure, according to the local.
In East Azerbaijan province, 200,000 carpet weavers were previously covered by social insurance. That number fell to 45,000 due to the government’s financial problems.
The government, which is struggling financially due to US sanctions, cannot easily fix the damage the industry has suffered from the fallout from Covid-19. Meanwhile, carpet exporters are being squeezed by foreign exchange regulations, making overseas sales an increasingly risky business.
Morteza Miri, a carpet exporter and board member of the Iran Carpet Manufacturers and Exporters Association, said that carpet traders who did not export their products must commit to returning them to foreign countries.
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“Traders who have not yet exported carpets must undertake to return the foreign exchange earned from the sale of the products within four months or one year through channels designated by the government after clearing customs. Central Bank of Iran.
“For this reason, exporters who send carpets abroad but do not sell them on time must pay the Central Bank of Iran from their own pockets foreign exchange from transactions that do not happen, otherwise they will be punished. revocation of the commercial license,” he said. to speak.
A man repairs carpets in Tehran’s Grand Bazaar. Customers pay up to $50,000 for a rug. Photo: Atta Kenare/AFP
Miri believes Iran’s carpet business will experience a rare, if not unprecedented, recession, with 2019 exports set to be the lowest in 45 years. Last year is likely to be difficult due to the impact of the pandemic on trade and the associated global recession.
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With the US market drying up due to sanctions and other markets hampered by restrictions on banking transactions in Iran, the United Kingdom, Denmark, Germany, Iraq, Italy, Japan, Lebanon, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates still buy large quantities of carpets from Iran. Exporters said they could sell to those countries, although they did not elaborate if sanctions were to be avoided.
Dariush Akradi, founder of the online carpet shopping platform CPersia, said: “Given the high inflation in recent years, purchasing power has decreased significantly. Moreover, rising production costs are not unreasonable. They can be avoided.”
“In just three to four years, the price has almost doubled, meaning that this product has been removed from the customer’s shopping cart.”
However, Akradi notes that Iranians have such a natural fascination with carpets that even people with low incomes have to buy expensive handwoven carpets because of the value they bring to their homes.
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“The passion for carpets is in the DNA of Iranians. Even low-income families insist that their living room be decorated with handwoven carpets, although they can buy locally made carpets for his bedroom,” he said.
Sheyda Mayahian, a carpet design graduate and founder of carpet design group Ensug, told Asia Times that her company suffered mainly from mismanagement by the company, the government and skyrocketing production costs during the Covid-19 crisis, which together took a toll. on the morale of many people. . designers and weavers.
He believes that the government can take many measures to save the industry, including providing financial support to manufacturers, facilitating the transportation and export of carpets, and improving the quality of carpets.
Mayahian stressed that if the government’s current approach to the production and sale of carpets persists, “Persian carpets will have no future and will become a luxury item that some manufacturers restrict.” consumer product status.
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But with the government under pressure from sanctions and no early signs of a new deal with the US under the Bidden administration, investment in national heritage and the protection of crafts, considered by many to be the epitome of Iranian culture, were now beyond Tehran’s financial means.
Mohammad Mehdi MirzaAmini, a carpet designer and lecturer at Shiraz University of Arts, said: “The government is facing a huge budget deficit and is using conventional and non-traditional sources to compensate for these losses.
“There is nothing to invest in the carpet industry and of course it is clear that handwoven carpets are not a high priority for the government.” You are here: Home 1 / Iranian Arts, Crafts and Souvenirs 2 / A Detailed Guide to Persian Carpet Styles in Different Cities in Iran
Being exposed to Iran’s brilliant traditions, historical sites and artifacts throughout my life has always moved me. The traces of such joy have become more real for me since I chose literature and creative writing as my profession… And here I am; Travel, experience, enjoy and capture every little thing so you can feel its magic through my lens!
What Makes Persian Hand Woven Carpet So Exraordinary?
Rugs and blankets are a language; they speak to us through many twists and turns, and for those who know how to listen, it is a wonderful story of love and endurance, or longevity.
As soon as people settled down and started living outside of caves, they must have started thinking about creating something they could put on the ground and sit on; it is possible
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