Everyone Has a Job Weaving Fine Rugs

Sardroud in East Azarbaijan Province is a city with zero unemployment; almost everyone is in the business of carpet tableaux.

Sardroud in Tabriz County, East Azarbaijan Province, has become a city without unemployment by focusing on carpet tableau production.Speaking to Financial Tribune at the 26th Iran Handmade Carpet Exhibition organized by Iran National Carpet Center, Ali Sehati, the executive manager of Sardroud Carpet Tableaux Producers Union, gave us an overview of carpet tableau production in Sardroud. The union has 6,000 members. The exhibition opened on August 23 and concludes today at Tehran’s International Permanent Fairgrounds. Carpet tableau, also known as pictorial or picture carpet and rug tableau, is a framed, ornamental carpet woven for the purpose of being hanged on walls for decoration as opposed to carpets that are laid on the floor. Designs of pictorial carpets are different from those on typical floor carpets, as the former often depicts landscapes, portraits or Qur’anic verses while the latter is based on classic patterns. Silk, wool and dyes are generally used to make these tableaux.

The first carpet tableau dates back to the Safavid dynasty. It was later made more elaborate during the Qajar period. There are 23 fields closely related to carpet tableau production, including dyeing, wrap winding, polishing, washing and embossing the tableaux and frame making. “I can proudly say the unemployment rate in our city is 0%,” Sehati told Financial Tribune.Almost all locals are one way or another involved in the business. Sehati noted that there are 800 carpet tableau workshops in Sardroud with 18,000 active carpet looms. According to Sardroud Carpet Tableaux Producers Union, some 450 carpet tableaux are produced in the city daily.In an earlier interview, Kazem Sehati (Ali Sehati’s uncle), the head of the union, said this industry in Sardroud has created 15,000 direct jobs, adding that the jobs of some 80% of the city’s 35,000 population are also linked with carpet tableau production.

“The industry has created 300,000 sustainable jobs across the country, putting the turnover of carpet tableau businesses in Sardroud near 6-9 trillion rials ($158-237 million) per year,” he said.According to the executive manager, 85% of all carpet tableaux in Iran are produced in Sardroud. Sardroud’s hand-woven carpet tableau was officially registered by the World Intellectual Property Organization on January 5. It has also been registered on the National Tangible Cultural Heritage List by Iran’s Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts and Tourism Organization.The National Carpet Center of Iran has awarded the National Geographic Seal to the product, which signifies the exclusiveness of carpet tableaux produced in the region. China is a major importer of Iranian carpet tableaux, followed by the US and European countries.

The Financial Tribune, Iran, August 29, 2017