Afghanistan: Sales of handwoven carpets from Herat nosedive

A number of handwoven carpet sellers in the western Herat province of Afghanistan are dealing with a severe downturn in the market due to political and economic issues in the country.

The traders complain that the market for Afghan carpets has nosedived and virtually ground to a standstill.

Officials from the Union of Carpet Weavers in Herat also confirmed the stagnation of the domestic market but said export volumes had increased slightly last year against 2021.

Local carpet weavers in Herat stressed that the lack of recognition of the Taliban government and the influx of foreign carpets into Afghanistan has contributed to the stagnant local market.

According to the Union of Carpet Weavers in Herat, approximately 40 percent of Afghan carpets are being produced in the western parts of the country, with Herat accounting for 20 percent of that total.

These carpets are exported to various destinations, including the United States, Canada, China, Russia, England, Iran, and Pakistan.

Handwoven carpets are a significant product across many provinces of Afghanistan, particularly in the western region.

However, both sellers and producers consistently voice concerns about the scarcity of domestic and international markets, as well as the high prices of raw materials.