Economy, Domestic Economy

Persian Weavers Hopeful of Better Times

Persian Weavers Hopeful of Better TimesPersian Weavers Hopeful of Better Times

Iran’s Persian carpet industry is hopeful of a comeback after years of crippling international sanctions on exports caused millions of dollars in losses for the trade and economic hardship on weavers.

“Before the imposition of sanctions on Iran, the US markets were considered as the first export hub of Iranian carpets,” Yahoo! Finance quoted Hamid Karegar, the head of the Iran National Carpet Center, as saying in a statement.

Carpet exports have grown 14% since the removal of nuclear sanctions against Iran, he added.

Traditional weavers from the Qasghai tribes living near Shiraz hope the export trade in hand-woven rugs will resume, improving the livelihoods of impoverished communities, while factories anticipate a surge in global demand.

The decades-long international ban on Persian goods over Tehran’s nuclear energy program cost the country at least $41 million annually in carpet exports to the United States.

Persian handmade carpets, which take up to 3.5 years to make and can cost from $11,000 to $100,000, are Iran’s second-largest export commodity after energy.

Carpet weaving dates back to nomadic and tribal societies in 400-500 BC, according to the oldest Persian rug ever found in the Central and East Asian Altai Mountain range.

The UN’s World Intellectual Property Organization has so far registered 19 of Iran’s 40 nationally-recognized carpet weaving provinces and regions, according to the Iran National Carpet Center.

Retailers and companies are now awaiting the easing of banking restrictions to allow international financial transfers in and out of Iran.

“We have inventory there ready to be shipped,” said Esmail Borhani, the Iranian-American owner of Maryland-based Borhani Rug Company, which sells rugs made in Iran, according to INCC.