If possible, I'd like to get my own designs incorporated in to a Turkmen carpet while I am visiting Ashgabat this summer.

I'm not sure if it is a service directly offered or not - and if not, if it is the done thing asking for something like this in Turkmenistan. (?)

The idea came after seeing examples with war themes made for US troops in Afghanistan:

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I'm not interested in the war theme myself, but instead images and themes pertaining to the work we'll be doing while we are in the country. I figure it would be unique memento of the 4 months we will be there, notwithstanding being a fine rug in terms of quality.

What/where would be the best way to enquire about this?

I only speak english and will be working around 70hr weeks, with likely only Sundays off...

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    @fkraiem: My understanding is that the no-shopping rule is, at heart, designed to prevent answers that rapidly become outdated as prices and availability change. I don't really think that applies here, though I'll admit it's a gray area. – Michael Seifert May 31 '17 at 13:29
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    @MichaelSeifert I agree. This is a broad question asking about the general availability of a product or service, not asking for specific shopping information. Similar questions could be "Is Kosher food widely available in the Faroe Islands?" or "Can I get parts for my 1963 Chevy Corvair if it breaks down in Armenia?" Also, Turkmenistan is a very high-context culture and knowing what sort of things it is acceptable to ask for is a really good idea. – Robert Columbia May 31 '17 at 15:10
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    There is a huge amount of offers for turkmen carpets in Russian (search for "туркменские ковры"), so I assume the business is booming. Would definitely not hurt to ask around. It's an asian culture so chances that somebody knows somebody who does this are very high. – alamar Jun 1 '17 at 12:45
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    "туркменские ковры" transliterates to "turkmenskie kovri". – Robert Columbia Jun 1 '17 at 13:46
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    You might ask at the Carpet Museum or the Carpet Factory, and read this blog on the complexities of getting it out of the country. – Giorgio Jun 1 '17 at 15:36

Resources described on the Turkmens guide to the city of Aşgabat give options you could explore.

Carpet Museum: This museum has a large, impressive collection of antique carpets and also the largest Turkmen carpet in the world. Groups may reserve in advance for a tour (10 or more people) and reduced entry fees. Please note there are charges for picture taking and video taping. Next door is the museum shop. Carpets purchased here will also receive a license and permit (which you will be charged for) for airport customs. Director: Tuvakbibi Kurbanovna Durdyeva; Location: 5 Gorogly Street; Hours: Daily 10:00 am to 6:00pm, closed for lunch between 1:00 and 2:00pm, closed Sundays; Entry Fees: 25,000 manats (US$5).

Carpet Factory: About 200 people are employed here to produce what are known as "Bukhara" carpets. The visitor is invited to watch and take pictures of the staff knotting the carpets. Some carpets are sold here. Carpets purchased from the factory have one advantage over those sold at other sources: you do not have to obtain an export permit for them. The receipt is all you need for airport customs. Location: 23 Liebknecht Street; Hours: 10:00am to 6:00pm, closed from 1:00 to 2:00 pm for lunch.

The Bazaar: The extensive Tolkuchka Bazaar, Täze jygyldyk is the largest market in Turkmenistan is located in the outskirts of Ashgabat, in the residential area Choganly.

And, without knowledge of the company of any affiliation with it, consider contacting a business such as TurkmenCarpets-Online to discuss your concept.

  • Turns out turkmencarpets-online is very keen, but it also turns out they are based in Lithuania! The search continues :) – Lamar Latrell Jun 14 '17 at 4:08
  • Dears, Turkmencarpets-online is based in Ashgabat, just to provide a good customer service and online sales we have subdivision in Lithuania. – Turkmencarpets-online Oct 3 '17 at 8:31

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