A new boutique of the Berkarar General Trading LLC to sell Turkmen carpets, textiles and souvenirs is opened recently in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, at the Al Fattan Marine Towers complex.
ORIENT met with Kerim Akmammedov, Head of Altyn Kanun Company, who is the founder of a commercial enterprise.
– Kerim Mammetmuradovich, would you, please, tell us about the Turkmen carpet store in Dubai?
– We are not talking just about the store, we are talking about a company that is established in Dubai and has a general license. The general license gives the right to organize wholesale and retail trade of any good, except sale of alcohol and fuel. All other positions are available. Our company has the right to open stores throughout the United Arab Emirates.
– Why did you choose Dubai?
– Because Turkmen carpets as a luxury are prized in many countries. Not everyone can afford to buy such a carpet, since they are they are quite expensive, and in Dubai as the largest city in the UAE there is a certain demand for Turkmen carpets. It is firstly. Secondly, it allows increasing export. There are different things to sell locally and to take carpets to the international market. This, in turn, stimulates the carpets production.
– What carpets your company export?
– Hand-made carpets and factory-made carpets are two different stories. At best, during one month, only one square meter of a good hand-made carpet can be made. Imagine 400 thousand knots in one square meter, and a carpet-maker knots it each manually, while, at the factory, during one month, 10 thousand meters can be made.
At the same time, hand-made carpet is a kind of applied art, while factory-made carpets can not be considered as an art, but a production. Therefore, we are focusing on the sale of handmade carpets. The more we export, the more local people can earn money and the more new jobs can be created.
– Are any competitors in this industry? For example, Persian carpets.
–Yes, there are always competitors. At the rich markets, there are all sorts of goods. There are many nations in the world who have good carpet weaving traditions. Persian, Afghan, Turkish, Caucasian and other carpets are among them… But each carpet has its own peculiarity, decorative specificity. Turkmen carpets made of wool and silk are distinguished by an incredible variety of ornament, its expressiveness and unique stylistics.
– Do you have your own group of carpet- makers?
– We have many carpet-makers divided into workshops. There are about 200-500 people. There is a group of people, who are engaged in this production. So, the Berkarar General Trading LLC Company organizes the production process and deal with marketing – product promotion.
Another thing is that we can hire agents in all countries. Person who assist us in sales we call as agent. If agent work for us, then he receives an agent fee from the contract cost. In Dubai, we opened a store. However, we already have several agents in Dubai who are promoting our carpets. This is a group of realtors who sell apartments, houses etc.; they also offer our carpets to decorate any home.
– How Turkmen carpets can be purchased, except store shopping?
–We offer Turkmen carpets through the Internet as well, and it makes it possible to buy them anywhere in the world. We have a website, where you can pay for your purchase through the United Arab Emirates, and it will be delivered any place.
In addition, we opened our Dubai store in the tourist area. Let me explain: the weight of one carpet is large enough for a tourist on vacation to take it along with him. Tourists are not able to take along with them a cargo with a weight of 5-8 kg. Therefore, we offer small carpets of 2.5-3 square meters. There are also souvenir rugs, carpetbags and any carpet gift items.
If they want to buy a carpet of 30-40 square meters, it is better to do it through the Internet. Choose ornaments, choose a color and make a prepayment – 50 percent from the total cost. Why 50 percent prepayment? Because if a person orders an over-size carpet, and then refuses to buy it, then no one else will buy it. Or, it could be purchased, but it would take a long time to find a right buyer. Therefore, we should have a guarantee of such purchase. Since the larger the carpet, the harder it is to weave.
If we assume that a carpet of 30 square meters is ordered, then it would take about six months to make it. Of course, it is possible to work in three shifts to finish it faster. Here we should put into consideration that each carpet-maker has its own hand-style. If one carpet-maker starts to make the carpet, and, then, the other carpet-maker continues the work, the same pattern and ornament will look different. A specialist can see it and say “the hand-style is different.” Therefore, carpets should be made by the same carpet-makers from the very beginning until it finished. And it will take a long time.
–And what else can be ordered except ornamental carpets?
– A portrait carpet can be ordered. One square meter of carpet will cost about 1 thousand US dollars since a portrait carpet is a very delicate work with thin threads. Or, silk carpets can be ordered as well; there are about one million knots per square meter. It is an art item and you cannot put it on the floor.
The history of carpets goes back thousands of years. Since ancient times, people decorated the home with woven carpets, and considered them a symbol of wealth, passing from generation to generation. Today, carpet weaving is not a craft, but a true art. And investing money in arts is considered a profitable investment.
The most expensive carpet in the world was sold in 2010 at Christie’s in London. The antique decorative rug measuring 3.39×1.53 made in the 17th century in Kirman, Persia, was sold for 9.6 million US dollars.
Unique, ancient carpets, which today are a heritage symbol of the Turkmen nation, of course, are not for sale. However, carpet-makers can create a new masterpiece to please any taste.