During our three months stay in Khorog, we had the possibility to meet a lot of different people working in Chorog and GBAO – locals as well as people from abroad. Due to the central location in the City Park and the proximity to PECTA (Pamir Eco Cultural Tourism Association), we also met a lot of tourists. This gave us the chance to collect different opinions about Pamir socks but also to learn about other projects concerning similar objectives. We noticed that a lot of people showed interest in Pamir socks. Dora, for example, came from the United States to Chorog specifically to learn about the way Pamir people crochet socks. The shortage of wool made it impossible for Dora to simply order a pair of socks from the artisans and she therefore proposed to send wool from the United States to Chorog in order to produce what she needs. Will this be a solution? Liba, also from the United States, is working on a four years project to support people to breed angora goats in Ishkashim district. The woman’s organization is planning to export the high quality wool from these goats to the US where it can be sold for a high price. This project also aims at reviving the traditional Pamir crochet technique and patterns in new products suitable for export. As the patterns are not patented this will be fairly easy. Russian fashion designer Lolita, living in Chorog, is also interested in saving old patterns and other Pamir products through marketing. She has designed a range of products that nicely show the diversity of Pamir traditions. For financial reasons Lolita decided to use only synthetic wool. When we were talking to tourists, almost all of them showed interest in the traditional Pamir socks and were sad not to be able to wait until the exemplars were finished. Some of them would have been happy to buy these special socks before leaving the country.

Besides preserving and reviving a traditional Pamir product, all this interest in the Pamir socks gives De Pamiri the chance to be the first on the market. Using natural wool as well as natural dyes will further strengthen De Pamiri’s competitive advantage and place them in a leading position. If De Pamiri does not act soon, however, there will be people from abroad using the patterns and technique for their own products and mainly for export. We would like to support De Pamiri to get artisans interested in producing traditional Pamir socks from naturally dyed wool. Unfortunately, pricing, lack of personnel and especially shortage of woollen yarn has made it close to impossible to continue work. If the situation does not improve soon, it will be impossible for us to find a solution in our remaining two weeks in Chorog…