Tibetan rugs from Nepal

Few people seem to be aware that the majority of Tibetan carpets available on market today are actually not of Tibetan origin. There are numerous reasons for this situation, connected to Tibet’s history and political situation. Although some might think there is a little difference between Tibetan and Nepalese goods, there are some important factors that might influence your decision of buying a certain kind of carpet.
First of all, we need to explain why carpets branded as Tibetan are being made in Nepal. When in 1945 Chinese army invaded Tibet, numerous people, from religious figures to craftsmen fled the country seeking refuge in neighboring countries such as Nepal and India. Those who were lucky enough to survive a march through harsh mountainous environment were forced to settle in foreign land. In order to get by, many of them decided to pick up weaving craft, as Nepalese did not have such a thing. Locals quickly picked up their techniques and started to make their own carpets and rugs. It wasn’t long before the whole weaving process was modernized, creating an extremely lucrative business for Nepalese entrepreneurs. As trade with Tibet was restricted by the Chinese government, Nepalese carpets were the closest thing to real Tibetan carpet that there was.
One of the biggest differences between real Tibetan carpets and Nepalese ones is their price. Although trading policies in Tibet are more lax than in the past, acquiring goods from this country is still fairly difficult. This is one of the reasons why Tibetan carpets can be very pricy. Nepalese rugs, on the other hand, are widely available so their prices are considerably lower. The price is also influenced by the fact that the majority of authentic Tibetan carpets is hand-woven by expert craftsmen, while carpet industry in Nepal in mostly based in factories. While both kinds usually utilize real wool (although synthetic Nepalese carpets are common),Tibetan ones are made of the highland sheep, commonly living in the mountains. Due to the costs, Nepalese weavers mostly use wool imported from New Zealand or other countries. Another characteristic feature is that while Tibetan rugs remain largely faithful to traditional techniques and patterns, Nepalese carpets are more flexible and sometimes change according to actual trends.
Thanks to free trade among countries, we are able to purchase carpets of any origins and ages. It’s up to us to decide what we prefer more. Both Tibetan and Nepalese carpets have their advantages and disadvantages. We can only advise you not to cross out any of them and instead try to give them a fair chance of surprising you.

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