KABUL CARPET EXPORT CENTER
Afghan carpet manufacturers can produce any design a buyer wants. Afghan designers have been world leaders in introducing cutting edge designs. Afghan carpet manufacturers are very experienced in producing them. KCEC will place buyers' orders with skilled manufacturers.
Afghan carpets are known around the world for the quality of their wool and their tight construction. The wool is raised in arid conditions at high altitudes which makes it coarse and exceptionally durable. The Turkish, Persian and soumaq knotting techniques that are widely used in Afghan carpets result in a taut weave that still looks good after years of use. The size of the knots and their density can vary from carpet to carpet depend on what the buyer wants.
Most Afghan carpets use hand-spun wool, whose irregular thickness affects the way it absorbs dye. The result are rich modulations of dye colors in the wool. Nearly all Afghan carpets for export are made with natural dyes.
Most Afghan carpets, though not all, are woven by women. Carpet-making is one of the few ways that women have of earning money. Very often a group of women work together on a single carpet to speed it along. Carpets are most often woven in homes where the weavers can keep an eye on the rest of the family while they work.
When making a carpet on order, the weavers follow a detailed chart which identifies each knot by color. Increasingly, these charts are being made using computers, speeding the time a design can go into production.
Once a carpet is cut from the loom, it goes for finishing where it is washed several times and has its pile cut down to the height that the buyer wants. Sometimes special washes are used to give the carpets a special look. Or the pile can be cut down nearly to the warp threads to give a distressed, antique appearance.
Carpets have been exported from Afghanistan for centuries. They circulated throughout the Persian empire, into Anatolia and onward to Europe. Regardless how complicated conditions in Afghanistan have sometimes been, the Afghan carpet trade has always managed to gets its goods to market.
In recent decades, most Afghan carpets have been shipped overland to the port of Karachi, Pakistan, then put on container ships. Increasingly, though, carpets are moving by air from Kabul as airfreight rates have become favorable as a result of competition and subsidies. Afghan-made carpets can now reach their destination far more quickly than in the past.
KCEC ships all its orders by air and works with several airlines to ensure that buyers obtain the most favorable rates.