The head of Iran National Carpet Centre (INCC), Hamid Kargar, says the Iranian capital, Tehran, will play host to the 26th Iran Handmade Carpet Exhibition – the biggest of its kind worldwide – during August 23-29, which is expected to be attended by 730 firms from across the country.
According to a Farsi report by the Ettelaat daily newspaper, the expo will be held in Tehran International Permanent Fairground.
Kargar added the exhibition will be held in 14 halls in an area extending over 30,000 square metres.
He said a hall will be allocated to specialized entrepreneurs, adding they will be provided with free pavilions in Hall No. 5.
“[A number of] foreign traders who are among the customers of handwoven Iranian carpets, particularly those form Iran’s export targets, have been identified and invited to visit the expo.”
He put the number of foreign traders at 91, of which 38 are Iranian carpet merchants living abroad and 14 are Americans.
The INCC chief said concurrent with the exhibition, the Seventh Top Carpet Exhibition and Festival will be held in Tehran with the aim of creating new intricate carpet patterns and improving the process of carpet production.
He added the fest’s slogan is “Modernization and Maintaining the Market While Focusing on Originality of Iranian Carpet.”
Kargar said rugs made by Iran’s nomads as well as antique and modern carpets will be pitted against each other in the festival, adding those judged as top works will be put on display in a hall.
“A carpet is currently being woven in Iran based on a speech by [Iranian President] Hassan Rouhani in the United Nations which will be unveiled during the expo. The carpet will be presented as a gift to one of the international institutes after its weaving is completed.”
He said different methods for decorating spaces with handwoven Iranian carpets will also be presented to the visitors in the exhibition in cooperation with the INCC and the National Council of Furniture and Decoration and Correlated Industries.
Kargar noted that to increase the adaptability of handwoven Iranian carpet, a book titled “Farsh-e Man – The Aesthetics of Persian Carpet” will be unveiled in hall No. 5.
In addition, he said, a number of workshops will be held during the six-day exhibition, in the morning and afternoon, to familiarise visitors with the designing and production processes of Iranian carpets in different parts of the country.
The INCC head added, “Moreover, the processes involved in the making of a handwoven carpet such as designing, restoration and washing will be shown to visitors in this expo.”
Iran Resumes Carpet Exports to US
“Following the going into effect of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) [on January 16, 2016], Iran resumed carpet exports to the US. During 2010-2016, Iran failed to directly export any carpet to the US due to [Western] sanctions. This was while in 2009, the US was the target of over 16 percent, more than $80 million worth, of Iran’s carpet exports. After the implementation of the JCPOA, Iran exported its first carpet collection to the US from Germany.”
He added in 2016, Iran’s overseas sales of carpet amounted to $365 million, of which $95 million were sold to the US.
“We expect that Iran’s carpet exports to the US would increase again after a six-year hiatus. This, however, requires continuous monitoring of the activities of our rivals, particularly India and Pakistan, in international carpet markets. It is also important to screen the background of our present-day customers in the market. We are also required to make optimum use of means of advertisement and establish connection with foreign traders.”
He said according to the figures released by Iran’s Customs Administration, the country’s carpet exports reached $89 million during March 21-July 22, 2017, indicating an increase of more than 3.7 percent compared to the figure for the same period of time last year.
1m People Weaving Carpets in Iran
Kargar added establishing a carpet start-up is also on the INCC’s agenda.
“According to INCC statistics, the population of Iran’s carpet weavers stands at 1 million, of which 700,000 do the job as full-time workers and the rest are part-time employees.
He dismissed the allegations that handwoven Iranian carpets are expensive, noting such carpets have considerable price diversity.
Handwoven carpets made by Iran’s nomads are both very beautiful and precious and sold at reasonable prices.