A carpet seller displays inventory to buyers in Tehran

Iran's Handwoven Carpet Exports Plummet Amid Sanctions

Monday, 04/01/2024

The Vice President of Iran’s Handwoven Carpet Producers Union has sounded alarm over the current state of Iran's carpet industry which is in rapid decline amid the country's recession. 

Speaking on behalf of the union, Hamed Chamran-Rokh disclosed that both domestic and international sales of handwoven carpets are continuing to decline.

"In the current circumstances, handwoven carpet exports are practically zero," stated Chamran-Rokh, exacerbated by the imposition of banking sanctions.

Last year, exports of one of Iran’s most famous products, hit its lowest levels in 24 years, a 24 percent decrease in one year alone.

The decline in Iran's handwoven carpet exports marks a stark contrast to its historical performance. In 1994, Persian carpets generated over two billion dollars in revenue for the country. However, by 2019, the figure plummeted to a mere $69 million. The situation worsened in the second quarter of 2020, with exports bringing in only two million dollars.

Numerous factors contribute to the significant drop, including challenges in global logistics chains, the escalating cost of products. International sanctions related to Tehran’s nuclear program have also dealt a blow to local industries, including the handwoven carpet sector.

Beyond economic implications, the decline in handwoven carpet exports carries profound social repercussions. Carpets have long been a cornerstone of Iran's rural economy, offering vital employment opportunities for millions of families.

However, as business dwindles, statistics from the Ministry of Industry, Mine, and Trade reveal that approximately two million weavers have been compelled to migrate to cities or neighboring countries in search of alternative livelihoods.

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