Thursday, August 04, 2005

Tunisia: Hand knotting in Kairouan

Originally uploaded by Opiliones.

"Kairouan is one of the few places in Tunisia where the women do the weaving, chatting gaily as their deft fingers ply the shuttle. They turn out two types of carpet—pile and short-nap. The latter are subdivided into mergoums, which have a diamond pattern worked into a neutral ground, and klims, formed by alternate strips of natural-colored wools. Most sought after are the zerhiyas, which are pile rugs. Their traditional design of a central motif bordered by an arabesque pattern is largely responsible for the widespread appreciation of Kairouan carpets."

"Legend has it that in 1830, Kamla, daughter of a governor of Turkish origin, took two years to weave the first example of this knotted-tassel rug, after being inspired by her father’s collection. When she had finished, she donated the rug to the city mausoleum." -AramcoWorld/


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