Islamabad, Islamabad Capital Territory, Pakistan
Shopping for Carpets In IslamabadPakistan is a hub for fine carpet shopping. The country is surrounded by many countries that are world renowned for the carpets they make. Many of these countries are also places that Westerners can't always get into. Having such a huge range of very high quality carpets is both a bonus and a curse when you visit Pakistan.
The bonus is that you're not stuck with one design, feel, or quality of carpet. Since these carpets are imported most of the time, you also don't have to worry about offending the carpet salesmen if you really don’t like a particular design. They don't make the carpets, or even have any local pride in them, so they're happy to give you a carpet that you want. Sizes can range from tiny prayer mats (or even smaller) to giant full room carpets. They also come in new and vintage styles to suit every taste. The selection is so huge that it's also slightly problematic as well.
The biggest problem is a great problem to have, you might be overwhelmed by the sheer number of styles of carpets and have a hard time picking just one. This isn't helped much by the fact that the carpet dealers always worry that you won't return to their store, and will do anything to get you to leave their stores with a carpet. There are ways you can take advantage of their salesmanship to make your carpet shopping a little easier. First of all book enough time to visit the shops, they will not let you leave after a 10 minute browse, many dealers will give you tea and water (and sometimes even a meal) to keep you in their shop for an hour or more. If you have the time, take advantage and let them show you all the carpets, tell you why one is better than the other, and bargain as much as possible.
The key to bargaining is that you don't feel bad about how little you pay for a carpet. Make an offer well below something you're comfortable with. Try and find a nice middle ground, and know that they will not give you a carpet unless they're making a profit.
You can also turn carpet shopping into a fun educational experience too. Ask questions about the carpets, find out where the design comes from, and how old it is. You might be surprised at what a history one carpet might have. The dealers are often very knowledgeable about their carpets, and for many of them it’s a family business, so information has been past down from generation to generation.