Tehran, Iran, September 10
By Mehdi Sepahvand - Trend:
Iranian carpet manufacturers are moving along the global market, complying with customer demands in a competition where new features are added to the carpets every day, an official with one of the country’s well-known carpet manufacturing groups told Trend September 10.
Regarding industrially woven carpet, where countries compete with each other, what is important is to add new features such as higher density, anti-bacterial characteristics, or fire resistance, Ali Golshani, public relations director at Farrahi Carpet, said.
"As for the hand-woven carpet, Iran is the leading producer in terms of quality. But when it comes to industrial carpets, there are the state-of-the-art weaving machines which every company can buy. So the competition shifts toward the new features that you add as well as services that you offer."
He went on to note that as Iranian industrial carpet manufacturers are equipped with the newest machines, the services are the only thing to beat foreign rivals in the domestic market.
"Foreign rivals cannot compete where we offer after-sale services, two-year guarantees, free shipment, etc."
Iran’s carpet market was once threatened by a new wave of industrially woven products pouring into the country from Turkey and China.
But thanks to the government efforts to prevent imports, Golshani said, situations grew better for domestic manufacturers.
Golshani added that as situations are favorable, his respective company has managed to employ some 800 workers and export products to various countries beginning from the US and ending with Europe and Central Asia.
Iran's capital city hosted the world’s biggest and most prestigious handmade carpet exhibition Aug. 23-29.
Following the going into effect of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) [on January 16, 2016], Iran resumed carpet exports to the US. During 2010-2016, Iran failed to directly export any carpet to the US due to Western sanctions. This was while in 2009, the US was the target of over 16 percent, more than $80 million worth, of Iran’s carpet exports. After the implementation of the JCPOA, Iran exported its first carpet collection to the US from Germany.
In 2016, Iran’s overseas sales of carpet amounted to $365 million, of which $95 million were sold to the US.
The world-renowned Persian carpet, which is widely believed to have been around for more than 2,500 years, is deeply rooted in the Iranian national identity.
Nearly two decades ago, Iran had a record high export of nearly $690 million worth of hand-woven carpets (then 17.5% of total non-oil exports). But over the past decade, the value of such exports has slumped, for various reasons, according sanctions and foreign competitors.