Communities Craft Arts

Fair Trade Oriental Rug Event at Ten Thousand Villages

Mohammad Imran, a rug finisher at the Bunyaad Warehouse in Lahore, Pakistan

Starting on Wednesday, March 14, Ten Thousand Villages of Asheville will be hosting an Oriental rug event with hundreds of hand-knotted, luxury rugs available for sale. The rugs will be provided by Bunyaad, a company that provides fair-paying opportunities for highly skilled artisans from more than 100 villages across Pakistan. Ten Thousand Villages has partnered with Bunyaad on a national level since Bunyaad’s conception in 1982. “The mission of Bunyaad and the mission of Ten Thousand Villages go hand-in-hand: to create opportunities for artisans in developing countries to earn a fair wage,” says Sara Martin, manager at Ten Thousand Villages. “By showcasing these rug artisans in Pakistan, we are underscoring how crucial it is to support artists near and far in order to keep these vibrant skills alive generation to generation.”

Through the five-day event, two representatives from Bunyaad’s main rug room in Pennsylvania will be available in the Ten Thousand Villages store to answer questions and provide information about the rug program. Visitors will be exposed to a variety of different rug designs, as more than 850 different families are represented by Bunyaad. From intricate floral designs to tribal rugs made of hand-spun, naturally-dyed wool, each rug represents an artisan’s individual and unique skill. “These exquisitely detailed rugs offer us the chance to tell a story of the preservation of another traditional craft, half a world away, through living wages, educational opportunities and respect for ancient artistry,” says Martin.

As part of the event, Ten Thousand Villages will host a From Loom to Living Room seminar on Thursday, March 15, at 7 p.m. The seminar will be led by Bunyaad representatives. “Attendees will hear the history and stories behind the rug program, as well as get a glimpse of the rug-making process, from dyeing the wool to tying the fringes,” says Martin. Refreshments will be served and admission is free, but reservations are strongly recommended.

Ten Thousand Villages is located at 10 College Street in downtown Asheville. For more information or to reserve a spot at the From Loom to Living Room seminar, visit tenthousandvillages.com/asheville, email asheville@tenthousandvillages.com or call the store at 828.254.8374.

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