The panel has made an in-depth effort to explore all possible avenues of the carpet industry and its export. The study has been divided in to four parts.
Part I deals with history of the carpet industry along with major types of the product i.e. Hand Knotted Carpets and Machine Made carpets.
Part II of the report deals at length with the current situation of the industry in Pakistan. In part II the Afghan issue has also been dealt with as it is proving to be very crucial for the industry at the moment.
In part III the procedural aspects and other allied issues of the export of carpets have been discussed at length. These have been highlighted after discussions with local exporters. This part also deals with competitors and Pakistan standing in the world market. Child labour in Pakistan carpet Industry has also been highlighted here. The fourth and last part deals with recommendation which have been formulated basing on the study.
The Pakistan Carpet Industry And Export
The hand-knotted carpet industry of Pakistan has come a long way since its beginning in the early fifties. The carpet traders and weavers, who had migrated to Pakistan from Amritsar and other places after partition, began to ply their trade in a small way in response to the market demand. Hand-knotted carpets are basically an export item; a microscopic fraction is used in side the country. Some importers from London began to visit Pakistan to buy hand knotted carpets and this gave a fillip to the industry. However, the fifties and sixties remained a period of slow growth, Carpets continued to be made and sold but there was no spectacular movement in the market. It was in the seventies that the market abroad began to boom and with this the Pakistan carpet industry became alive. Throughout the seventies carpet production continued to increase. What, however, really made the difference was the decline in the supply of Iranian carpets after the Revolution in 1979, There was a gap in the market, and the Pakistan carpet industry rose to the occasion to fill it along with the other carpet producing countries such as India, China, Romania, Turkey, Nepal etc. Production rose rapidly to take advantage of the situation,
Export figures skyrocketed, in 1971-72; Pakistan's earning from carpet exports totaled meager Rs, 109 million. By 1975-76 the income from carpet export had gone up to Rs. 719 million. It rose to Rs. 1,180 million in 1977-78 and then to Rs. 2,198 million in 1979-80. In 1980-81 carpet exports touched the highest ever figure of Rs. 2,243 million. There was a slight decline after that because of the recession in the world market. With the export income coming down to Rs, 1,6769 million and Rs. 1,913 million in 1981-82 and 1982-83 respectively. In 1985-86 the in come rose to Rs. 2,693 million. 1986-87 saw the income from carpet exports further rising, the exact figure being Rs. 3,419 million.
The export of hand-knotted carpets has not only gone up value and quantity wise but the unit prices of Pakistan carpet have also been appreciating. For in stance, the per unit price was Rs, 360 in 1975-76; it is now overRs.1,200, It is an amazing story of a small industry providing itself equal to the challenge of the world market by dint of sheer hand work. It has competed successfully against bigger rivals and has been able to carve a permanent place for Itself in the International carpet market. It has developed a strong manufacturing base producing quality goods that have become very popular among consumers in Europe and the United States.
Background And History
Hand knotted carpet, where every knot is knotted as such is very costly and has become luxurious item. Moreover its production is very slow and it takes about six months to produce a 6‘ X 8’ carpet. This has given rise to the use of machine made carpets. Although hand knotted carpets are now produced in many parts of the world. They are the exclusive heritage of the people living in the region comprising Iran, Southern Russia. Afghanistan and Pakistan- The inhabitants of these countries have from ancient times many things in common, including carpet making. Social and economic interchange among them is centuries old. Carpet weavers frequently traveled from one country to another in response to market demands and produced masterpieces of patterned, knotted yarn that still arouse wonder where ever they are preserved. The area now comprising Pakistan has tradition of carpet-making going back thousands of years. Weaving was developed form of art in the Mohenjodaro in Sind 4000-5000 year ago. The handmade carpets produced in Lahore in the 18th Century are on display in museums in Lahore and elsewhere.
There are many types of carpets. The main are
1. Hand knotted carpet.
2. Machine made carpet.
Hand Knotted Carpets
A Thing Of Beauty
Hand knotted carpets are not only the value for money, but they have also aesthetic value. The proud owners appreciate their exquisite craftsmanship, enchanting patterns and mystical beauty. Oriental rugs have fascinated and enchanted viewers and owners the world over for centuries. The beauty of oriental carpets is appreciated because of symmetry and patterns. Famous western scholars enjoy their patterns, and their symmetry is proved with the rigorous study of mathematics. Here complicated twisting of flowers, mystical animals and symbols are brought to life through intricate patterns of colored woolen yam.
Proud Islamic Heritage
The beauty of Oriental carpets can be approached not only in terms of art and mathematics, but also within the contexts of Islamic art and spirituality. Historically, throughout the Islamic world from Spain to Indonesia, patterns appear in architecture and interiors to organize space and to beautify the built environment. All patterns reflect the pure beauty of numbers, considered to be of divine origin in Islamic doctrine. And by their very nature, patterns exhibit multiplicity as expressions of unity, which is an attribute of God.
What Are Hand Knotted Carpets
Oriental carpets are made on looms made of wood or iron. The loom consists of two vertical poles with two horizontal bars across. Cotton threads are stretched across the loom vertically. Some rugs also have wool and silk warp. The carpet is made by the weavers tying colored yarn to the warp and cutting it with a knife. The tying and cutting process goes on and on in rows and gradually the given pattern begin to emerge. After each row of knots is woven, they are beaten down with a comb to impart solidity and thickness to the pile.