The Wall Street Journal has a short piece on the dying art of carpet making in Uzbekistan. Profiled are the cities of Samarkand and Bukhara.
This was the most fascinating bit from the story, I think:
Out of the 300 or so carpets the Samarkand workshop produces by hand each year, around 40% are private commissions. These range from ancient Persian designs to hand-drawn images sentimental to the person commissioning the carpet. One Japanese client, intent on creating one of the finest carpets in the world, has commissioned a 90-centimeter-by-55-centimeter piece at a cost of $85,000, which will take seven years to complete. It is so fine it can only be worked on an hour a day, so as not to ruin the eyesight of the weaver.
Click through to see pictures accompanying the piece.