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Carpets and Rugs in Uzbekistan. Still made there or Chinese?

Sao Paulo, SP
Level Contributor
84 posts
52 reviews
Carpets and Rugs in Uzbekistan. Still made there or Chinese?

Where are the best places to buy carpets and rugs in Uzbekistan. In average do the sellers tell the true about what they are selling or do they scam as well, such as selling a Chinese machined made carpet as a handmade one? Do you need to bargain down there as at the Grand Bazaar in Istambul?

Tashkent, Uzbekistan
Level Contributor
227 posts
5 reviews
1. Re: Carpets and Rugs in Uzbekistan. Still made there or Chinese?

There is a silk and wool carpet factory in Samarkand, we have been there, very interesting guided excursion by manager of this factory. You can ask for the address from the hotel where you will be staying in Samarkand.

Zürich, Zurich...
Level Contributor
19 posts
71 reviews
2. Re: Carpets and Rugs in Uzbekistan. Still made there or Chinese?

I would be very careful when buying carpets in Uzbekistan. They double charge tourists, also easily add "few dozens of years" to its actual age and sell it as antique. Unless you are a specialist I would not recommend buying them on tourist spots. You also need a legal permission from Uzbek Ministry of Culture to take the old stuff outside the country. There is no problem with new carpets though. And as advised above, you might want to check official stores or factories for that.

Edited: 3:34 am, October 17, 2014
Tashkent, Uzbekistan
Level Contributor
227 posts
5 reviews
3. Re: Carpets and Rugs in Uzbekistan. Still made there or Chinese?

That`s why better to visit official place like Factory in Samarkand, it gives the permission and prices are the same for the carpets no matter you are local or not, all prices are fixed.

Stroud, United...
Level Contributor
144 posts
20 reviews
4. Re: Carpets and Rugs in Uzbekistan. Still made there or Chinese?

New to this thread, but in case this is still useful:

- A lot of Uzbek carpets are not made in Uzbekistan at all, they're made in Turkmenistan and occasionally Afghanistan. I don't personally obsess about precise provenance anyway because the whole thing is a bit of a racket in every country - just buy the carpet that looks the best to you personally. You can usually tell where the carpet was made by the type of pattern and the colours used.

- handmade and machine-made can be recognised in an instant. Machine made carpets are perfect - no flaws at all - and almost always artificial dyes. Handmade carpets always have unusual quirks about them - maybe the pattern isnt that precise, or the edge is uneven. They are sometimes made using natural dyes - to the naked eye a natural dye carpet will have have less vitality in the colour, and they often look "older" - and sometimes sell for more as a result because they can be pushed as "antique". As soon a your eye becomes accustomed you will spot any Chinese machine made ones a mile away.

- The factory mentioned in Samarkand above: if that's the one inside the Sher Dor Madrassa then I think it is still there. The carpets are only partly made on site, I think most are made or bought from Afghanistan. The family who run it are old carpet traders - the Badghisi family from memory - and whilst you can't say for certain that you've bought an Uzbek carpet I thought they were very nice people and the carpets were good. Worth a look and I don't think you will be scammed there - maybe you will pay a bit more or something, but this is carpets, not dishwashers - there is no such thing as the "real value" of a carpet.

- Uzbekistan isn't actually that well known for carpet manufavture (though it is reasonably well known for carpet trading). "Bukhara" carpets are not from Bukhar, they're from Turkmenistan - the Turkmen are *the* carpet makers extraordinaire.

- The best textile souvenirs to get in my experience are killims - thin floor rugs, not pile carpets, usually made by nomads - they're cheap, look beautiful and there's no market in copying them in a factory etc. Also Uzbekistan's most famous textile product is the suzani - usually cotton woven with patterns, flowers, geometry etc. - cheap, beautiful, can be used for all sorts of things at home - bed spreads, cushion covers etc. The best ones are very ornate - look out for the beautiful pomegranate themed ones.

Hope that helps!

all the best

Huw

5. Re: Carpets and Rugs in Uzbekistan. Still made there or Chinese?

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