By: Mahlagha Sadoughi – Mena Carpet News
In addition to handmade carpets’ reputation, Iran is also ranked high in terms of machine-made rugs. The quality, texture, and density of these carpets are excellent examples in the world.
At the beginning of the ’70s, the first machine-made carpet was woven in Iran and sent to the market. Iran is ranked second in the world in terms of machine-made carpet production volume. But in terms of quality, it still plays the leading role in the whole world. Turkey is Iran’s largest competitor in the machine-made carpet industry and has a brilliant history in the carpet production. Turkish carpets are one of the most famous rugs on the market these days.
The machine-made carpet industry of Iran and Turkey can be compared in terms of various factors such as the characteristics of the produced carpet, domestic and foreign markets, etc.
The most significant difference between Turkish and Iranian machine-made carpets is their design. Turkish rugs have stylish and simple designs, and most of them are in a single color with embossed flowers. While in Iranian carpets, specific and elaborate patterns, such as Arabesque and Lotus motif with buds and leaves, are used. One of the other differences between Iranian and Turkish carpets can be considered in the number of colors used. The number of colors used in Iranian machine-made carpets is much more than the Turkish rugs. Turkish carpets’ background color is often cream, milky-white, and Nescafe.
Machine-made carpet is one of the most prominent and powerful parts of Iran’s textile industry. Unfortunately, Iranian machine-made carpets do not have many buyers in the world market, not because of the low quality, but because Iranian products do not match the tastes of the world’s people. Despite influential activists producing machine-made carpets, Iranians are still not totally aware of different countries’ preferred styles and have not tried to produce modern and contemporary styles.
On the other hand, Turkish carpets have a design and texture that meet global customers’ tastes and keep consumers satisfied with various products. Turkish carpets are one of the most popular types of machine-made carpets, which has found a desirable position in the market. This luxury carpet is used as one of the luxury components in modern and contemporary decorations, but this does not mean that it cannot be used in classic decoration. Incidentally, this carpet has an excellent ability to match different types of decorations. It should be noted that the price of Turkish carpets is much lower than carpets produced inIran.
One of the important points in home decoration design is the coordination of home furniture in terms of color and fashion. The harmony of the carpet with the furniture and curtains makes the home look luxurious and attractive. Turkish carpets will be a right choice to complete home decorations with modern and contemporary styles. On the other hand, Iranian rugs with Arabesque and traditional designs with dark colors limit choices in choosing the rest of the furniture.
Iran is the fifth largest exporter of machine-made rugs in the world after China, Turkey, India, and Belgium. About 75% of carpets produced in Iran are for domestic consumption, and the remaining 25% are exported to more than 30 countries. China, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq, Central Asia, Sweden, Japan, Australia, and Canada are some destinations for carpets produced in Iran. The point that should be considered in examining Iranian machine-made carpets’ position is the list of Iranian export destinations.
Some main destinations of Iranian machine-made carpets are countries such as Afghanistan, Iraq, and Pakistan. These are mostly war-torn or low-purchasing countries and the rugs exported to them are certainly different from global markets’ needs. Also, markets such as Iraq and Afghanistan are high-risk trade markets with which Iran takes advantage of its good neighbourliness and has been able to influence these countries’ markets.
Turkey is one of the major exporters of machine-made carpets in the world. The United States, Saudi Arabia, Germany, Iraq, Libya, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom, and Israel are the top destinations for the export of Turkish carpets. Among them, the United States is the most important export destination for machine-made rugs produced in Turkey. About 80% of Turkish machine-made carpets are exported. In comparison, only 25% of carpets produced in Iran are exported to other countries. This shows the more tremendous success of Turkey in attracting foreign markets compared to Iran.
Export of machine-made carpets in Iran is less than its potentials because the activists in this field look more towards domestic markets and produce their products based on Iranian regions’ needs and tastes. To succeed in carpet exports, activists should have an international perspective and consider the needs of target markets.
Another reason is the lack of knowledge and practical training in export and marketing concepts for manufacturers and managers of the carpet industry, and producers have stopped the profession from focusing on exports. In terms of technology, quality, and specialized workforce, Iran’s machine-made carpet industry can compete with leading countries in this field, including Turkey. If Iran creates a creative look in design, it can further succeed in exporting.
It is noteworthy that the restrictions and sanctions imposed on Iran by global policies have also reduced carpet exports. It is clear that without facing such obstacles, Turkey can perform more potent in exporting its textiles, such as machine-made carpets. In such a situation, the Iranian carpet industry is forced to find new markets and focus more on exports, which is not possible without initiative in designing and supporting international investors, business people, and government officials. In order to strengthen the factories producing machine-made carpets in Iran, particular attention should be paid to global carpet marketing, especially in the educational and advertising sectors. Therefore, not only producers should move towards exports, but also that the government should fulfill its duties as a facilitator of carpet exports.
One of the methods that all countries use to grow and promote sales and exports, or in other words, enter new markets, is to participate in international exhibitions as a professional marketing tool, which fortunately in Iran is booming every year. In comparison, the Turkish government supports its producers and exporters by awarding export prizes, supporting its exporters to participate in international exhibitions, and tax exemptions.
Export countries usually try to persuade manufacturing companies to explore new markets because entering new markets is always very time-consuming and requires great costs that small and medium-sized companies cannot afford. Governments will reimburse these costs in proportion to the importance of the market. For example, suppose Turkish carpets are not yet sufficiently exported to Brazil, and this country is one of the export destinations. In that case, the government will include up to 75% of subsidies in related exhibitions, and this procedure will continue for two or three years. Then those aids are calculated for the next target country.
In this way, companies that have been able to enter the market using government support by finding a business partner, sales representative, opening a store, etc., will continue to work and become the golden key to enter this new market. This is the method used by most developing countries such as India, China, Turkey, etc. In some cases, up to 50% of the opening fee is covered in the target countries. Despite the lack of such incentives in Iran, the number of Iranian companies in the world’s leading carpet and flooring exhibitions is increasing every year. However, the quality and quantity of Iran’s presence over its competitors are also debatable and need further improvement.