Turkmen Carpets
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It never ceases to amaze me how from humble materials like sheep’s wool and dyes from plants and herbs, with the help of able hands, beautiful carpets and kilims can be produced.

Carpets are an essential part of my heritage. My family has been in the business of carpet making and trading from generations, from our ancestral home in Bukhara, Central Asia, near Samarkand in the Silk Road, to Afghanistan where my grandfather found refuge in the 1920s after the Soviet revolution. Carpets have been with us and provided our family and our fellow Afghan Turkmen countrymen the chance to have an income and to live with dignity then and in the 1980s, when following the Russian invasion of Afghanistan we became refugees for the second time in Pakistan.

Why buy Afghan Turkmen carpets today?

Because they offer the best quality and craftsmanship.

For centuries, generations of Afghan Turkmen (also known as Turkoman) have weaved some of the finest carpets and kilims in the world.

The skill and designs are transmitted from mothers to daughters, women who take pride in their work and strive to weave the best carpets.

The Turkmen have traditionally used in their weavings the Turkish double wefted knot, a technique that produces very durable rugs.

Carpets are produced with traditional environmentally-friendly methods using the best hand spun chest wool from Gazni province in Afghanistan, renowned for its fine quality, softness and capacity to absorb and retain natural dyes.

The natural colours come from plants and herbs. The dyes used include vine roots and madder for red colour, pomegranate peel for green, walnut peel for dark and light brown and onion skin and the flower sparak, similar to ragwort, for shades of yellow and beige.

Today, carpet hand weaving supports thousands of Afghan Turkmen refugee families who live in Pakistan or who have recently gone back to Afghanistan. The craft not only provides them with a regular income, it also helps them to send their children to school and to live with dignity during difficult times.

It assists in particular Afghan Turkmen women, who have in weaving carpets a unique chance to earn money at home, as in traditional communities there are few or no jobs for them outside their houses.

The men work in other processes related to the production of carpets from dyeing the wool to shaving the pile, from supervising the quality of the carpets to washing and stretching them in the sun. My family’s carpet workshops in northern Pakistan and Afghanistan provide income and employment to about 5,000 Afghan Turkmen families, who help us produce about 3,000 square metres of carpets a month.

We are proud to be part of a centuries-old tradition of excellence as we see in every carpet a labour of love. We are also concerned about the welfare of the families, in particular their children, so we actively reject the use of child labour on ethical grounds. Only experienced women weavers can produce the high quality carpets that meet the standards of our customers in Europe, the United States and Japan.

My family is also involved in supporting better living conditions for the families that work hand weaving carpets so we use part of the profits to build water schemes for Afghan Turkmen villages in Aq Cha, the area in northern Afghanistan near the city of Mazhar-i-Sharif where my family and our fellow tribesmen settled in the 1920s.

As part of our love for carpets, I also collect rare semi antique tribal and Persian carpets, kilims, cushions, saddle bags and other beautiful textiles such as suzanis and ikats from Uzbekistan, Afghanistan, Turkmenistan and Iran.

There are unique pieces from Nomad tribes such as the Baluch, Tatari or Aimaq that were produced for their own use to decorate and make their tents more comfortable. The finest pieces were woven by women as part of their dowry. Magnificent saddle bags or jowels, now used as cushions, were woven as part of the bride’s dowry with the outmost care as they would carry the bride’s possessions on camel caravans when she joined the groom’s family.

I also buy from the same countries affordable carpets and kilims of fine quality, that can be produced in different sizes and in large quantities for wholesale.

Carpets and kilims create and transform the atmosphere in a room and work well with contemporary furniture. In a time when we are being encouraged to save energy, carpets help us keep your home warm in winter.

We also produce carpets that combine modern designs made to our clients’ specifications with the quality of materials and techniques used for centuries.

We believe that hand made carpets should be an affordable luxury. Affordable because we sell directly to our clients without intermediaries. A luxury because a hand made carpet value is more than purely its cost. It brings into your home tradition and excellence, history and natural materials. Unique craftsmanship.

Thanks for visiting the website,

Abdul Hakeem
Executive Director
Afghan Rugs

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