Silk carpet factory
The silk is one of the most valuable fabrics in the East. The tradition of making garments of silk, silk carpets has been passed from generation to generation from ancient times there. Art of carpet weaving was the most valuable skill, because each house had several silk carpets. Today, Iranian, Azerbaijani and of course, Central Asian schools are the most famous and skilled schools of silk carpet weaving.
Art of weaving silk carpets is one of the oldest in our region. One can see many beautiful silk carpets, hand-made by Uzbek female masters, in Bukhara, Samarkand and Khiva.
Mostly, girls do all the work. They paint yarn, then dry it and begin the main work. Manufacture of silk carpets is time-consuming occupation. It may take from 1 to 6 months, and sometimes more than a year. It depends on the size and complexity of the carpet pattern.
Travelling in Samarkand, one should visit the Hudzhum silk carpets factory. Here, the very process of carpets manufacturing can be observed directly to see the unique patterns of carpets and, of course, order one of them.
Mostly young girls are employed in the factory, they create amazing carpets of the most vivid and varied colors. Here one can see items with ancient ornaments, made according to the secret technologies passed from generation to generation.
Uniqueness of the products of this factory is also in the fact that the colouring materials are made of organic colors: walnut, pomegranate, indigo, madder.
During a visit to the factory one can order one’s favorite carpets, and also girls can make a unique carpet based on specific sketches.
Another place to see see traditional carpet weaving is Samarkand Bukhara Carpet Workshop (12A Hujom; 231 0726 ; www.silkcarpets.net). Established in 1992 in a bid to revive traditional techniques, the workshop is run by the affable and exceptionally knowledgeable Haji Baba (Muhammad Ewaz Badghisi). The workshop produces around 400 handmade carpets a year and prides itself on having exemplary working conditions and benefits for its weavers and dyers. Workers undertake a four-month training programme and work no more than 40 hours a week. All of them are over 18. The plants required to make many of the natural dyes are grown in the workshop garden, which you are welcome to wander around, and the women take painstaking care to show you each stage of the carpet making process. There is no hard sell, just a fascinating insight into the industry, and if you do decide to buy a carpet, you can either choose from one of those already made, or design one yourself and be confident of having it delivered.