Eight women have been employed to card, wash, boil, and shrink raw wool and have been trained by the project director, Zahra Kazemi, and her friend, Mary MacMakin, to weave on the new loom.
The women work six hours/day and rotate among the different tasks, e.g.,carding, shrinking, and weaving, so that each woman gets time to weave.
Together, the women have woven 100 meters of barak in the past six months. One meter should sell for about $25.
A second loom has been built by a Bamiyan carpenter
Zahra Kazemi has traveled to trade fairs in Kabul to show the Bamiyan weavers’ barak fabric, also to Calcutta at the invitation of the Afghan government.
A new, year-round product made from the barak inventory is being produced, an over-the-shoulder laptop computer bag with Velcro fastener and embroidered designs suitable for both men and women.