US market faces Iran carpet inroads

A delegation of American merchants will visit Iran to revive trade in Persian carpets which withered under intensified US sanctions. 

The group will include traders, researchers and writers of handmade carpets, set to travel at the end of the year, head of the Iran National Carpet Center Hamid Kargar said.

“Our aim is to revive and maintain the handwoven Iranian carpet’s links with the traditional American market and boost exports to the country,” he was quoted as saying by the local media.

In Iran, the delegation will be taken on a tour of the country’s carpet weaving hubs and Tehran’s grand bazaar and museum of Persian rugs.

The carpet trade is on course to get a boost from the lifting of sanctions following last month’s conclusion of nuclear talks between Iran and the P5+1 countries.

Persian carpets traditionally dominate the international market of handmade rugs because of their supreme quality, design and natural color.

Carpet weaving is a family-run business with a history of more than 2,000 years in Iran. Artisan products are churned out in local workshops where honed skills in design, weaving and dying make the difference.

The business is just emerging from three years of sanctions which hit exports hard. Kargar says carpet exports stood at $330 million at the end of the last Iranian year in March — a fraction of the billion-dollar business before the sanctions were imposed.

“Given the positive political grounds which have been created, exports of hanwoven Iranian carpets are expected to boom and reach $500 million this year,” he said.

Iranian carpets are currently exported to 80 countries, but the US holds a special place among the traders.

“The thirst and passion for carpet exports to the American market is highly strong and there is an expectation of a leap in sales to the country,” Kargar said.

Iran is gearing up for an international exhibition of handmade carpets to be held in Tehran on August 23-29. Kargar said the event will be the largest of its kind thus far, where 700 producers and exporters will present their products.

By Press TV