There is no child labor in Pakistani carpet industry.
The beautiful hand knotted Pakistani carpets and rugs are adored by carpet lovers all over the world for the unique traditional designs, intricate knots, richness of colors, durability, quality and reasonable prices. The richness of red and other warm colors that you get in Pakistani carpets is hard to find anywhere else in the world, and the soft texture is created by the wool taken from selected parts of sheep remains un-match-able!
My husband Peter and I deal in soft flooring for high-end customers since 1992. Our vast showroom in Ichtegem, a city between the iconic Bruges and the scenic coast of Ostend displays a large variety of carpets and rugs, wooden flooring, bedding and other exotic household articles from around the world. From Pakistan, we acquire hand knotted and hand tufted woolen carpets and rugs.
I travel around the world regularly to procure the best of the best items. In addition to that, we develop personal relationships with the people who produce high quality articles for my customers. I travel to Pakistan at least twice a year, since 2009, where I meet Pakistani carpet manufacturers. “You see colors and culture in Pakistan. Pakistani people are outstanding in hospitality and friendly manners”. I enjoy family terms with well-respected families, as I buy most of their carpets from them.
I believe by visiting families, particularly women and the household you get an idea of ethics behind the business. When visiting a manufacturing unit, you also get to see yourself that if child labor is not involved and other requirements are being fulfilled. It also gives you the chance to see for yourself the working conditions of the weavers. There is a misperception in the Western countries about child labor in carpet weaving units in Pakistan, whereas in reality there is no such thing nowadays. I regularly visit and see the manufacturing units myself and never found any children working there.
I am of the opinion that Pakistani carpets excel in terms of texture, designs and colors, durability and price, which is not found anywhere else. Furthermore, I also started giving my own designs to the manufacturers. There is yet another advantage of working with families, as this is easy to explain what is on your mind. Talking about trends in Belgium, I informed that traditional patterns are sliding down on the choice list of customers these days and modern, more simple designs were gaining a trend. The popular colors in Belgium remain shades of gray, brown, beige, red and rust. But Pakistan is good at making carpets in modern designs and the colors popular in Belgium.
The manufacturing of carpets in Pakistan dates back to centuries. After the independence in 1947 many Muslim carpet weavers moved to Pakistan. Most of them found jobs in Karachi, Lahore and Rawalpindi where the most of the carpets are manufactured. Typical handwoven Pakistani carpets are inspired by antique, older traditional motifs and carpet styles. Natural dyes and hand spun wool is used even today.
Among others, two most exotic types of Pakistani carpets are Mori and Persian style. Nearly 90% of the Mori carpets have a bochara-like and other Turkmenistan pattern. Ziegler and Kazak carpets are woven on old Persian styles such as the Mahal, Serapi, Azari and the Ardebil motif, Kazak and Shirvan. Ziegler carpets, that are manufactured in Pakistan, have patterns of older traditions in the Arak district, Persia. Those inspired by Caucasian carpets are sold as “Kazak fine”.
Pakistani carpets are woven with a high knot density that provides strong durability at a lower price than its Persian parallels. In Pakistan, carpets are manufactured with fine wool yarn, making these carpets very similar to silk carpets.
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See you in Pakistan!