Carpet Heaven: hand-knotted floor coverings on sale at Central

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A huge clearance sale of hand-knotted rugs and carpets is currently taking place at Central Festival Pattaya Beach shopping mall.  Discounts of between 20-80% are available on over 500 styles of carpets that come in a multitude of colours, designs and sizes.

Malik Munir, the organizer of the event, told Pattaya Mail that he graduated from university in the US in the late 1980s and had a love for carpets already established in his heart.  In 1994 he moved to Thailand and quickly released that this was potentially an untapped market, however first he had to demonstrate to potential buyers how a carpet could change the feeling and atmosphere of a home.

Malik Munir explains the manufacturing method behind hand-knotted rugs and carpets.
Malik Munir explains the manufacturing method behind hand-knotted rugs and carpets.

“Back then, Thais really didn’t know about hand-knotted carpets and one day I was speaking to the CEO of Central Group who had recently spent 350 million baht to build and fit out her home, but had not one carpet inside.  Instead they had utilized Italian marble with different designs on the floors so they didn’t want to cover them,” said Malik.  “I visited her and offered to decorate her home with my carpets for one week and after that time I removed them all.  The lady told me she had never felt the way she did now and with the carpets removed she said her house looked bare, so of course she purchased the carpets.

“In time, more and more middle-class Thais were travelling overseas, either as tourists of for further education purposes, and they would visit friends’ homes in other countries and see the beauty and warmth that a carpet can bring to a home.  When they returned to Thailand they decided to decorate their homes in a similar fashion,” he added.

Malik has three shops in Bangkok and one in Chiang Mai and has conducted many auctions of his fine rugs and carpets over the years.  His carpets come from master weavers in Turkey, Iran, Pakistan, Afghanistan and India where skilled artisans create carpets for the international market.

He explained that the term ‘hand-knotted’ means the floor coverings are hand-woven and not machine made, utilizing the traditional single-knot from Persia or the double-knot that originates from Turkey.  Previously it was only Persian and Turkish designs that were popular on the international market but the new generation of buyers and homeowners are looking for something contemporary and trendy yet still hand-woven.  This has created demand for carpets from other central and south Asian nations where the manufacturing skills are of an equal level.

Malik shows a fine example of one of the many rugs and carpets available.
Malik shows a fine example of one of the many rugs and carpets available.

The carpets on sale at Central in Pattaya range from 2×3 feet to 10×14 feet while larger carpets up to 15×35 feet in size are available on request.  Each has an individual price based on the quality of the carpet or rug – sometimes woolen floor coverings can be more expensive than silk.  It all depends on the density of knots, the time taken to weave it and the materials used.  For instance, at the current clearance sale at Central, buyers can purchase a Veluce (tribal carpet) measuring 5×3 feet for around 5,000 baht.

Material wise, shoppers can choose from 100% wool on a woolen base, wool on a cotton base, wool on a silk base with silk in the carpet as well, silk on silk, or silk on cotton.

Malik stated that people still also like to hang their designer carpets in the traditional way, like a tapestry and he can supply the rods and backing so they can be hung easily in any room.

There is also worldwide delivery service available at no extra cost and potential buyers should be aware that if they have a specific design in mind, this can also be catered for.

Malik finished his interview with Pattaya Mail by saying that, “a well made hand-knotted carpet can truly transform any room and make a home into a dream dwelling,”

The liquidation sale at Central Festival Pattaya Beach is located on the second floor beside the escalators and runs thru April 16.  For more information, call (English) 089 172 7774 or (Thai) 089 002 3493.

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