Arzu seeks retail distribution for unique Afghan rugs
June 15, 2006,
Chicago — Arzu, administrator of high-end, hand-made rugs produced by women’s cooperatives in Afghanistan, is starting to reach for broader distribution.
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Since receiving USAID funding in 2004, the non-profit organization has enrolled over 185 families comprising about 1,500 people into the rug-making operation. Weavers, all women, are required to attend literacy classes, as are their small children. The weavers receive payments throughout the 9- to 12-month production process as they meet certain production stages and earn bonuses of 50% upon completion of their orders.
All rugs are hand-woven using natural dyes and finely handspun wool. There are four design collections: Contemporary, Traditional, Tribal and Couture. Retail pricing on the first three groups ranges from $500 for a 2-by-3-foot rug to $10,800 for a 10-by-14 piece. Prices on the Couture Collection ranges from $600 to $16,200 for similarly sized pieces.