YEREVAN (Noyan Tapan)–Artsakh carpets woven by skillful hands using natural thread have been traditionally in great demand in foreign markets. War–blockades–broken economic ties and severed partnerships have resulted in downtime in carpet manufacturing. Oleg Bakhshiyan–who runs Stepanakert’s carpet-making factory–says that by 1998 the enterprise had debts running into 8 million drams.
After the factory’s privatization in March–1998 by Los Angeles businessman Hovik Makhserejian–the debts were paid off. The main shop is now under capital repairs. After the repairs are completed–measures will be taken to expand production and apply the enterprise’s capacities to full measure. The factory will hire an additional 20 carpet-makers and will raise wages. There will also be workers at home unsnarling and treating coarse yarn. There are also plans of opening a laboratory shop to dye woolen thread using natural dyes made of locally grown plants.
"Ani,"Toronik,"Karabakh,"Vishapagorg," and "Anahit" are the most popular carpets made in Karabakh today–Bakhshiyan suggested.