Monthly Archives: April 2013

Daizangi Kilims from Afghanistan

Afghan Daizangi Kilim

Another day at Arastan: a new tribal rug arrives, we learn about another weaving technique, we are awed again by a brilliant skill. Today’s splendid new product is the Daizangi kilim from Afghanistan.

Though often confused with Berjista or Mashwani Nakhunak kilims, Daizangi kilims in fact constitute a genre apart.

The Daizangi are a Hazara tribe from western Afghanistan, living mostly in Badghis and Herat provinces. Daizangi women typically weave on their own looms in village homes, using designs common to their tradition, but also adjusted to suit the requirements of modern rug traders.

Like other Afghan tribal weavers, they incorporate multiple weaving techniques in each rug. Most frequently they combine a background made with weft wrapping (sometimes known as plain soumak) with design elements in knotted pile.

The precision required to make small design elements in knotted pile dictates an unusually high knot count for tribal rugs, up to …

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Inspired by Nature. Designed for Today.

Karen Orchid Necklace

Karen Silver Jewellery: necklaces, pendants, earrings and rings. Highly individualistic, superbly crafted, finely designed – each piece a conversation stopper! Hand-crafted by the Karen hill tribe, this silver jewellery combines aspects of their native culture and natural environment with modern designs, styled for the woman of today.  And you can practically see evidence of each piece having been formed by the hands of a Karen craftsman. These pieces are not usually hallmarked in any way, but there is absolutely no doubt as to their origins or authenticity. Because, only the Karen can make silver jewellery this beautiful!

The Karen People

The Karen hill tribes are from amongst Thai and Burmese hill tribes, originally from Tibet, and whose ancestry can be traced back to the 12th century AD. The largest group from around 20 hill tribes, the Karen population presently numbers over seven million spread across the Union of Myanmar (Burma) …

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Chiang Mai Shopping

Hmong Market

A trip to Chiang Mai was long overdue. Over eight years had passed since I was first there and over three years since I moved to Bangkok. Living in Thailand, it’s hard to escape the allure of Chiang Mai. Every Bangkokian tells you how it’s a shopping haven, a creative paradise and a beautiful, peaceful place. So when Nisha asked if I could go there for a few days to source for Arastan, the decision was easy.

Chiang Mai is the creative cradle of Thailand. Nestled in a valley surrounded by the Doi Inthanon mountain range in the northwestern part of the country, it’s the second largest city in Thailand. Yet, time moves much slower there. The verdant mountains and misty cloudy sky create the perfect backdrop to the slow paced, relaxed vibe of the city. Upon my arrival, I wandered through the town, covering the major section on foot, …

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  • Welcome to Arastan

    Arastan was an online store that curated rare and handpicked treasures from exotic bazaars along the ancient silk route. Unfortunately we ceased trading in early 2014.

    You can read about the reasons for closure.

    You can still browse some of the products we used to have via the category links above, although none of these are available for purchase.

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