In 2002, CEO Abdul Ghaffar Alaich founded Kerki Weavers while living in a refugee camp in Pakistan. After a year, the business moved to Peshawar, where a physical shop opened to accommodate customers who praised the quality of Kerki Weavers’ woven carpets from the first collection. With validation, the business bloomed, and in 2004 Alaich returned to Afghanistan. Selling traditional Afghan rugs brings positive economic growth and enriches the community plus, the family-owned business focuses on empowering artisans at its core and sustainability.
Today, Kerki Weavers employs 50 staff who work on-site at the workshop in Aqcha in Jozjan Province and outsource over 5,000 skilled weavers who work from their homes all over the country. This outsourcing allows more community members to be involved in carpet production and receive fair payments for their work. With the added support from the at-home workforce, Kerki Weavers began producing and selling more carpets in Aqcha markets. As the demand for their products increases, weavers produce between 2,000 and 3,000 meters of carpet each month. Meanwhile, Kerki Weavers prides itself on using traditional carpet weaving techniques perfected in Afghanistan for centuries.
All steps are done by hand throughout the carpet production process, from carding and spinning the wool to dyeing the threads, weaving the carpet, then cutting and singeing it to finish. Kerki artisans are incredibly skilled and take extreme care in producing every rug. The hard work and attention to detail are apparent in each handwoven knot. Kerki uses natural threads and wool sourced from local farmers and producers. Over 100 colors are used in weaving Kerki carpets, most of which are derived from plants and natural products.
Currently, the bulk of sales come from individual requests from private firms. Those carpet orders range between 1 and 100 meters, depending on the client’s specific needs. Participating in showrooms brings in new customers, such as The Afghan Carpet Show sponsored by USAID in New York City, where representatives from the Aseel team were introduced in 2019. ASEEL is proud to partner with Kerki Weavers representing the age-old and tradition-rich craft of handwoven Afghan carpets.