Ten Thousand Villages’ fair-trade rug event will feature both traditional and contemporary rugs.
Richly patterned, colorful Oriental rugs have reemerged as a hot design trend in recent years, but do you know where your rug came from or who made it?
Ten Thousand Villages will host a fair-trade rug event at its Carytown store March 23-26 featuring more than 300 tribal, Bokhara and Oriental rugs. Each was made by hand by adults who are paid a fair wage for their work.
“The fair-trade component is a very important part of these rugs,” says Carytown store manager Caren Crosby Fields. “No children work on these rugs.”
Child labor has long been a problem in the rug industry. According to Good Weave, a nonprofit that works to end child labor in the carpet industry, some 250,000 children ages 4 to 14 still work — often by force — in factories throughout South Asia. And that’s down from 1 million in 1995.
The rugs sold by Ten Thousand Villages are woven by the Pakistani artisan group Bunyaad, which was started in the 1960s and has grown to include more than 850 families in about 100 villages throughout Pakistan. Bunyaad pays artisans by the knot, which encourages high-quality, high-knot-count rugs. (An expert knotter can tie approximately 40 knots per minute.) Artisans work on looms in their homes, which makes it easier for women to work.
“We have a really high commitment to the artisans,” Fields says. “Our relationships have changed villages.”
The Carytown event “will increase awareness of free trade and the artistry that goes into [the rugs],” she adds.
Shoppers will be able to take rugs out on approval to see how they work in their homes. Styles will range from traditional to more contemporary, and rugs will be available in a variety of sizes. The store will present a program on the history and stories behind the rugs, “From Loom to Living Room,” at 6 p.m. on Thursday, March 23. To reserve a spot, call 358-5170.