Friday, January 10, 2014

Magic Carpets, 1

Recently, a friend and I attended a large craft fair in which half the artisans sold rugs--beautiful hand made rugs. Tunisia has a long tradition in hand-woven rugs, ranging from simple designs from the South and isolated regions to sophisticated and elegant designs from the cities, especially Kairouan. 
At the top of my list, are the silk pile rugs--
breath-taking (and breath-taking prices as well).

What designs! Who would dare to walk on such beauty? 

The premier choix wool rugs contain exquisite designs as well.

I could have stared for hours and I'm thinking that I might start drawing some of these rugs in my sketchbook.

Then there are the flat-weave rugs, the Mergoums. These are rather standard designs. In my mind, the Mergoums are amazing because they stand up to wear for decades. They're easy to move and to clean as compared to pile rugs. 

But the work is back-breaking.

This one caught my eye with its exquisite work, small designs and interesting colors.
Among the rugs, one can occasionally find a traditional wedding veil: woven in a finer wool, the weaver can create more intricate designs. My friend took this beauty home for a Christmas present.

And then there was one booth with the traditional "chechia" hats. 
They begin as a knit circle and are felted and brushed into shape. Men still wear them in Tunisia and now there are different colors for women as well.

Ahh, but that's not the end...the best, or rather the most unusual, is yet to come!


Cate Rose said...

What magnificent work! I've always admired that fine work with such amazing detail. But have never been able to imagine how people actually make them, in terms of the obviously hand- and back-breaking labor involved. Have a great weekend, dear Nadia!

Julie Fukuda said...

Each time I go to my scout meeting, I walk past a huge show-room of carpets like that. I imagine them coated in dog hair. That, and the price, keep me away from going inside the shop.

Martha said...

All so scrumptious. Cannot wait for the next installment.

Rachaeldaisy said...

Those rugs are so captivating. Such beautiful patterns and rich colours. I love that the designs would date back to the beginning of time.

Stitching Lady said...

I can only marvel at those wonderful designs and craftsmanship!

Rafael's Mum said...

They are just beautiful! Thanks for posting xx

Tonya Ricucci said...

beautiful work. If you think the rugs are expensive there, just imagine how much they'll be once exported... Love the hats - very similar to the tarboush of Egypt. and of course the fez.

Radka said...

So beautiful, thank you for sharing the pictures with us :-)
Happy new year,

Magpie's Mumblings said...

Amazing! Certainly too gorgeous to be walked on. I would love to use some of the patterns for stitching...or for backgrounds in paper work/collage...or all sorts of things!

The Inside Stori said...

Thank you for sharing....fascinating and beautiful!!

Susan Lenz said...

I thought I left a comment ... perhaps not. Perhaps my computer is acting up. It wouldn't be the first time!

Anyway, your blog is always filled with such exotic images. Thanks so much for sharing your part of the world and its wonderful colors, textures, and designs.
PS Thanks for the comment on my blog too!

Janet M. Atwill said...

These are so beautiful. I seldom see the pale-colored flat weaves in Turkey. This must have been fun!

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