London, June 2020: Turquoise Mountain is excited to announce a new category for the Carpet Design Awards 2021, the Best Emerging Designer award, open to current students and recent graduates of design schools worldwide. The Carpet Design Awards by DOMOTEX in partnership with COVER and HALI magazines honour the best in contemporary carpet design, and will be presented at DOMOTEX in Hannover, Germany, 15th - 18th January 2021.

Entrants for the Best Emerging Designer award are invited to submit for consideration an original carpet design, to be produced by weavers supported by Turquoise Mountain in Afghanistan. The winning design will be an original, creative, design concept that takes into account the carpet production techniques of Afghan weavers. Entrants may submit up to two designs for consideration.

This is a unique opportunity for emerging designers to experience the world of carpet design and production and to have their work shown on an international stage, as well as a chance to discover the craftsmanship behind Afghan rugs. The shortlisted candidates will also be featured in international media around the Carpet Design Awards.

The first stage of the judging process will begin on Friday 31st July. All submissions must be received by this date. The judging panel will select three carpet designs for the shortlist, and all shortlisted carpets will be produced by Turquoise Mountain weavers for display at DOMOTEX in January 2021. The winner will be chosen, along with the other Carpet Design Awards winners, during a special awards ceremony at DOMOTEX. The judges’ decision is final and no correspondence will be entered into.

The judging criteria are as follows:

Design/Design concept
Commercial value

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Creating Carpets in Afghanistan

Carpet weaving is at the heart of Afghanistan’s heritage. Fine, long-fibre Ghazni wool, natural vegetable and mineral dyes, skilled hands, and a variety of regional weaving techniques lend a unique character to Afghan-made rugs. Four decades of conflict, however, have left the country virtually inaccessible to international buyers. Afghan producers have worked in isolation, cut off from developments in production standards.

Turquoise Mountain is working to break this isolation and connect Afghan weavers with buyers globally. Our supported weavers now produce handwoven, naturally-dyed rugs for clients all over the world, and their welfare is supported by our fair trade partner Label STEP.

Our weavers work with industry leading designers and top retailers such as Christopher Farr, Matt Camron Rugs, Robyn Cosgrove and Steelcase. Together, we create high-quality, handwoven Afghan rugs.

The Best Emerging Designer award, presented by Turquoise Mountain, offers an opportunity for emerging designers to work with these talented weavers using time-honoured traditions to create unique, contemporary pieces of woven art.

For more information on Afghan weavers and the traditional techniques of carpet weaving, click here.

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To submit your entry:

Please download the entry form here and fill in your details

Send the form along with your design to

You may also submit up to 200 words explaining your design and inspiration

Designs can be submitted in any of the following formats: jpg, pdf, bmp

Turquoise Mountain was founded in 2006 by His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales to revive historic areas and traditional crafts, to create jobs, skills and a renewed sense of pride. Since 2006, Turquoise Mountain has trained over 6,000 artisans and builders, restored 150 historic buildings in the old city of Kabul, served over 136,000 patients in its clinic and organised major international exhibitions – from the Smithsonian Museum’s Freer Sackler Gallery in Washington D.C. to Buckingham Palace in London. We have supported the establishment and growth of more than 50 thriving businesses in Afghanistan, Myanmar, and the Middle East, supporting a new generation of artisan entrepreneurs who will not only drive economic development, but also preserve their unique cultures and traditions.

COVER magazine is a quarterly title dedicated to the latest international trends, products and innovations in handmade carpets and textiles for interiors. It is the leading publication in this fast-developing creative field. Since the launch in 2005, we have featured countless up-and-coming designers, big brands and new products, enlightening interviews with the key players of our sphere and insightful market analysis. Striking visual features show off the world’s most inspiring interiors. Our inventive yet polished approach to design and production compliments the content, delivering a tactile and vibrant magazine. Alongside COVER, Hali Publications Ltd also produces HALI magazine, which focuses on antique and modern rug and textile art from around the world.

For over 30 years, DOMOTEX has supported exhibitors from the carpet and floor covering industry in presenting and selling their products in the world’s most promising markets. Our events have been bringing together exhibitors and visitors from all over the world and offering an ideal place for networking, doing business, getting the latest trends, as well as countless opportunities to take orders... this is the promise of DOMOTEX – The World of Flooring – that marks the start of the trade’s business year. As a dynamic international brand owned by Deutsche Messe group of companies based in Hannover, Germany, DOMOTEX is embodied by two international trade fairs, each with its own distinctive regional focus and exhibitor and visitor makeup: DOMOTEX asia/CHINAFLOOR and DOMOTEX Turkey.

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