Amadi Carpets, Inc.

Zubair Ahmadi, President, Amadi Carpets, Inc.

Amadi Carpets, based in West Hollywood in California, was founded by the Ahmadi family in 1995 and focuses on the production of the finest rugs made in Afghanistan. This top US/Afghan brand has become synonymous with impeccable design, true craftsmanship and gracious enterprise. Each beautiful Amadi rug is a woven tale about the soul of the Afghan people.


1. How would you summarise the range or ranges of rugs that your brand produces?

 Our brand of rugs is mainly focused on Afghan made rugs. Since we started twenty years ago, we concentrated and trained Afghan weavers and non-weavers of Afghan background who were migrating to Peshawar Pakistan. The reason we started our production in Peshawar Pakistan were for two reasons. Reason one was we wanted to help out our displaced Afghan community who were escaping war and the Taliban atrocities. The second reason was that a lot of skilled weaving families were settling in Peshawar so we thought that it was a perfect place to set up. Because of our background in the restoration of antique rugs and textiles as well as dealing with them, we felt the need for reproducing these rugs in today's colours and sizes. So we started our workshop and started teaching the skilled weavers and non-weavers the new techniques and styles and colour combinations of these rugs, which actually started a whole new rug industry and revived it across Pakistan as well as Afghanistan. So our brand has always been Afghan made rugs with Afghan skilled weavers and Afghan materials.

2. How would you describe the style behind your brand? What makes it stand out from other brands?

 Our style stands out because we come from a weaving background ourselves. Our family-on my mother's side-was making silk rugs for the European market in the 70s and early 80s. So we learned the skill at an early age. When we came to the United States in the late 80s we were restoring antique rugs and textiles and dealing with them. That background taught us about different constructions of weaving and styles and techniques. We took that knowledge and the weaving skills of our Afghan weavers and started a new style of rugs. So we have really been learning from the past to make a product for the coming generations and our style of rugs and brands reflects that. We are also involved in everything from sourcing the raw unspun wool in-house, carding it and spinning it to dying it and designing, weaving and finishing it all under one roof. My brother Zabi makes sure to personally to be on top of the wash and finishing of each rug.






3. Where are your carpets made?
 Our production started in Peshawar Pakistan with the Afghan refugees and once Afghanistan was liberated we moved our production to Kabul, Afghanistan in 2003-2004. So our production is primarily in Kabul Afghanistan with weaving done in the surrounding areas. 

4. Who designs your rugs and what has been the inspiration behind some of the latest collections? 
 The designs for our rugs are primarily done by my brothers Assad Ahmadi, Zabi Ahmadi and Jawid Ahmadi. They are the ones who design while Zabi and Assad also take care of the production. We get our inspiration for our designs from a variety of areas. When we first started our production our primary inspiration for our designs were the old antique rugs and textiles. We wanted to recreate these wonderful designs and styles to better fit today's colourways and decor as well as desired sizes. So we looked into old rug collections and books that we had in our collections and made changes with some patterns and colours so that it would fit today's market and interiors. As we learned about ourselves, our style and capabilities, we ventured out to get our inspiration from other types of textiles, periods and cultures. Fifteen years ago we started studying some of our antique ikat textiles that we had and it's rich history and the culture that it was part of and people who made these beautiful handmade fabrics and we thought why not transform them into hand-knotted rugs. So we worked on these designs and patterns for over a year, finally putting a few on the loom. Six months later we saw the first of these ikat pattern rugs and we were beyond happy. We got to successfully transform these beautiful rich colours and patterns into traditional style of weaving with great wool. From there a collection was born and it has inspired companies from all over the weaving corners to make and remake these designs. You don't need to reinvent the wheel; you just have to make it better.

5. What is the secret of a successful carpet? 
 I believe the secret of a successful carpet is the integrity of the carpet and how it's constructed. In an age of mass productions, ugly exploitation of cheap labour and disregard to our environment we always believe that quality is better than quantity. So we tend to concentrate on the integrity and quality of a rug so that it does not have a five-year shelf life, rather centuries, for it to be the antiques of the next generations to come. We need to respect and value the craftsmen and craftswomen who make these beautiful art. Make a rug that lasts a lifetime or two or three. The other part of a successful carpet is the design and colour. It is very important that the design is harmonious and tells a story and that it has a meaning to the culture and history of the place where it is made. This is why antique tribal rugs are so collectible, because they tell a story about the people who wove them and their history is woven with different symbols and colours. We tend to carry on that philosophy with our rugs. First comes quality, second comes design and third comes colour. 

6. Which one of your rugs is your favourite and why? 
 Every rug we make is my favorite rug. All rugs are made with love and so much effort that it would be wrong for me to have a favourite. 

7. What kind of interior projects have you worked on in the past or are working on now?
 We work with some of the world's most renowned interior designers and architects and it's very satisfying to see our work being used for some of these projects. It's quite humbling and a blessing to have part of you and your culture and history in someone's home. It's nice to walk into a boutique hotel and see your carpet in the lobby or sitting area. 

8. Can you describe one of the most exciting projects you have worked on in the last five years? 
 We installed one of our handmade rugs-the Lilly design-on the stairs and hallways of a beautiful house as a wall-to-wall rug. It was quite a challenge to cut and sew the rugs on site and install on marble curved stairs, continuing it down the hallways and into closets and bedrooms. The end result was beautiful and we had a happy satisfied client. 

9. Are your designs already stocked in China or anywhere in Asia? If not how important is it to you that they are in the future? 
 Since our production is in Afghanistan it is easier for us to supply the Chinese or Asian markets. We don't have our stock in China but we hope that that participating at this wonderful show it will give us a sense of direction and hopefully a partner that would carry our line of goods. 

10. What new collections are you working on for the future?
 Our collection is an ever-evolving collection. We started our Amadi Collection twenty years ago and we tend to just keep expanding it. We constantly add new designs and different weaving structure and colours into our existing collection. We never introduce it as a new collection because we don't see our collection as fashion or a trend. We make rugs that take a year to make and see so to present it or call it a collection we will be doing a disservice to our weavers and our art.