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Noted: The Carpet Weavers of Morocco

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One must-see summer tour is a far cry from the usual pop music stars and rock legends. A group of women from the northwest African country of Morocco are traveling throughout the U.S. exhibiting their carpet weaving skills. “In Morocco, the carpets represent the home and the nurturing of the family,” says Terra Fuller, an American weaver partly responsible for bringing the women to visit. ”They represent security and the role of women in the family.”

Carpet weaving is an important ancestral craft passed down from one generation to the next. More than decoration, the handwoven carpets are sometimes the only furniture found in rural homes. With limited means, the women make use of found objects to make their creations. The looms are almost always made of recycled materials; in fact, when the weavers arrived in New Orleans, they scoured riverbanks and abandoned buildings for driftwood to build looms.

What may look like artistic expression is also big business; carpet weaving is a means of income for many families. Aside from the commercial salability, the craft is a unique example of group effort, resulting in a weave that represents many generations of family and friends. “A carpet is usually started by one woman and several women will contribute to it by the end. It’s interesting because you can see the different hands in one carpet. It’s almost like drawings,” adds Fuller.

 

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Chappell Ellison is a designer, writer and design writer. She currently lives in Brooklyn, New York where she serves as a contributor for The Etsy Blog and design columnist for GOOD.

4 Featured Comments

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  • lindawb

    Linda Brown from DADecor says: Featured

    I think it is amazing that these women can have the patience, the creative artistic ability, and the vision to create these works of art! I have a hard time making anything that involves tedious counting like anything crocheted or knitted. I think these are all just incredible!

    1 year ago

  • scal12

    Payson A from SecondStarDesignCo says: Featured

    I love the idea that one woman starts the carpet, and others help her finish it-- what a great sense of craft in the community! Beautiful, meaningful work. Thank you for sharing it!

    1 year ago

  • Overdue

    Kiova Staley from joyridevintage says: Featured

    No wonder I am attracted to these rich, handmade textiles--the use of reclaimed materials, empowerment of women in their communities, and the shared experience and effort that goes into them--whats not to love!

    1 year ago

  • truthbeautyandlove27

    Colleen O'Neal from truthbeautyandlove27 says: Featured

    so amazing, these rugs are so beautiful and pratical as well! I love when form and function meet with style. The story behind the looms being hand made from found materials is awe inspiring! There is no limit to what can be recycled!

    1 year ago