Jawalakhel Handicraft Centre

Carpets in Patan

Anyone who appreciates carpets should visit this Tibetan refugee cooperative, where Nepal’s enormous carpet industry was essentially born in 1960. You can watch the carpet-makers at work (the centre employs 1000 refugees) before shopping upstairs for the finished article. The quality is high, there is a good selection, the prices are transparent and staff can arrange shipping.

Carpet quality depends on knots per inch and the price is worked out per square metre. The size of a traditional Tibetan carpet is 1.8m by 90cm (around US$500). They also sell fixed-price cashmere and yak-hair shawls. Credit cards are accepted for a 4% fee.