Saturday, April 12, 2008
Carpet in Afghanistan
Carpet is one of the oldest and most famous exports of Afghanistan. I'm finding that there are designs that are common to certain areas, and that certain colors are from certain areas. The skill seems to be passed down in families, and the skill has developed such that the carpets from Afghanistan are world renowned for their quality, beauty and long life.
I've had the opportunity to see many different carpets here, not only in the shops on base, but at the bazaar on Fridays - there are probably 4 shops here on base, but there are more like 15 at the bazaar! That's a lot of carpets!
The prices depend on a few different factors - quality, workmanship, depth of the weave, and materials. These often go hand in hand. The easiest to look at is what materials are used. From lowest (cheapest) to highest quality, you have camel wool, lambs wool, Chinese Silk, and finally Persian Silk.
I've bought carpet here, and now I picked up one for mom and dad as well. Very nice - a bit expensive, but not near as expensive as it would be if you bought it back home in the US. Of course, I'm not the guy spending $3,000.00 on some carpet either - and if you want it - that is here too. The Persian silk is very nice - and very pricey. And if you want to spend that much, brother, they will let you. No problem. You will even get "friend price" - as everyone else does.
It is nice that even though there is a war going on, and there are parts of the country that are just decimated - there is still beauty. The colors you see in this carpet - its almost outrageous how beautiful they are. They are made here. In this land.