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Noted: The Carpet Weavers of Morocco

Jul 10, 2012

by Chappell Ellison

Etsy.com handmade and vintage goods

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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4 Featured Comments

  • lindawb

    Linda Brown from DADecor said 4 years ago 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!

  • scal12

    Payson A from SecondStarDesignCo said 4 years ago 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!

  • Overdue

    Kiova Staley from joyridevintage said 4 years ago 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!

  • truthbeautyandlove27

    Colleen O'Neal from truthbeautyandlove27 said 4 years ago 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!

49 comments

  • genisepark

    Genise Park from genisepark said 4 years ago

    Such beautiful work. I would love to seem weave.

  • TwinkleStarCrafts

    Judith and Raymond from AnnaOliveDesigns said 4 years ago

    Nice article. The talent is extraordinary.

  • lindawb

    Linda Brown from DADecor said 4 years ago 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!

  • atreasure

    Haylee from aTreasure said 4 years ago

    The pieces are so unique! It makes me appreciate the little details

  • scal12

    Payson A from SecondStarDesignCo said 4 years ago 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!

  • volkerwandering

    Jess from volkerwandering said 4 years ago

    I love the variety of colors in these featured rugs!

  • MegansMenagerie

    Megan from MegansMenagerie said 4 years ago

    Such beautiful work :)

  • TejasVintage

    Beverly Diane from TejasVintage said 4 years ago

    Stunning works of art. Thanks for sharing this story.

  • gypsyroseherbals

    AnnieRose from gypsyroseherbals said 4 years ago

    Amazing talent, love the inspirational story too.

  • EmiliaFaith

    Edie Ann from OhHoneyHush said 4 years ago

    What a wonderful talent! Such beautiful carpets!

  • FranceGallery

    France Gallery from FranceGallery said 4 years ago

    Interesting article and the carpets are lovely!

  • mattyhandmadecrafts

    Matejka Max from NattyMatty said 4 years ago

    Colours on the streets there are just incredible!!! All because of carpets, pottery, leather... The crafts in Morocco are just fascinating!

  • HelloShoes

    HelloShoes from HelloShoes said 4 years ago

    Beautiful carpets. I wouldnt want to put on the floor

  • Iammie

    iammie from iammie said 4 years ago

    Beautiful!

  • Overdue

    Kiova Staley from joyridevintage said 4 years ago 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!

  • fasten888

    Marie Thomason from fasten888 said 4 years ago

    Community, a beautiful existence. I wish I knew how they do it.

  • CarpetShopPrincess

    Katie Koshy from carpetshopprincess said 4 years ago

    So nice to see something about rugs in the blog! Like most industries in the world, carpet weaving has tons of women behind the scenes, but not always doing the face time and wheeling and dealing in the bazaars. It reminds me of that great scene in "My Big Fat Greek Wedding" where the mother tells her daughter that the man is the head of the house, but the woman is the neck :)

  • WingbornRavenJewelry

    Stasie Maxwell from HausOfRaven said 4 years ago

    Amazing! Beautiful work! The heart and time that is put into a hand made piece is un-mistakeable!

  • ikabags

    IKA PARIS from ikabags said 4 years ago

    Amazing work ! Thanks !

  • VoleedeMoineaux

    Hillary De Moineaux from VoleedeMoineaux said 4 years ago

    beautiful!

  • TheWindowArtisan

    Susan Spurr from InSpurations said 4 years ago

    Love to see textiles being treated as a treasure. Love the community of the "rug". All the different hands.

  • LivingVintage

    LivingVintage from LivingVintage said 4 years ago

    Gorgeous and awesome!

  • accentonvintage

    accentonvintage from accentonvintage said 4 years ago

    Great work! Inspiring women!

  • thelittlemarket

    Debbie from thelittlemarket said 4 years ago

    Fascinating!!! I would love to see this!!! Thanks for the heads up!!

  • truthbeautyandlove27

    Colleen O'Neal from truthbeautyandlove27 said 4 years ago 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!

  • CafePrimrose

    Amanda Gynther from CafePrimrose said 4 years ago

    Such beautiful patterns.

  • LittleWrenPottery

    Victoria Baker from LittleWrenPottery said 4 years ago

    I never knew that it was more than one person working on a rug, though it makes sense - I'm sure you get tired of the pattern eventually!

  • bhangtiez

    Jana from bhangtiez said 4 years ago

    Beautiful!

  • thevicagirl

    VaLon Frandsen from thevicagirl said 4 years ago

    Wow, such art.

  • lovelygifts

    Linda from lovelygifts said 4 years ago

    Beautiful work!

  • PopLoveCouture

    Shai Wallach from PopLoveCouture said 4 years ago

    the craftsmanship in these can be absolutely wonderful. You find them here sometimes in the markets and shops throughout the country, it's a real treat!

  • gildedingypsy

    gilded in gypsy from gildedingypsy said 4 years ago

    Morocco has such beautiful crafts! I wish I could go there just to look at all of the little shops!

  • realfaery

    realfaery from realfaery said 4 years ago

    Gorgeous work!

  • SheEarth

    SheEarth Crystals & Creations from SheEarth said 4 years ago

    I love the Moroccan carpets, however I think i am the only person in the whole world who has been there and not been hassled into or actually bought a carpet - I am daft and just didn't see them but I compensated with scarves and bags and a poof so I guess I do have some Moroccan weaving work in my life after all ... but I could always use more :)

  • MissHildebrandt

    Miss Hildebrandt from MissHildebrandt said 4 years ago

    Group effort art is just wonderful. What treasures these are!

  • windycitynovelties

    Windy City Novelties said 4 years ago

    I love what they represent and how they represent different things to different people. This is a great inspiration. Love it!

  • papernickle

    Brandy from BrandyCupcakesStudio said 4 years ago

    I am always most inspired by those who can transform found objects or "trash" into new and useful items of interest, purpose and beauty. These women are simply amazing!

  • BowKnots

    Shannon Malaska from BowKnots said 4 years ago

    I recently saw a college art exhibit promoting the idea that we should drop all stereotypes of homemaking and nurturing, including creating beautiful handmade things for the home. I glad that this skill and idea is being preserved elsewhere. I cherish the homemaking skills and art skills that have been passed down through the women in my family.

  • wheatleypaperworks

    M Wheatley from wheatleypaperworks said 4 years ago

    I grew up watching my mom bash the reed (the thing that straightens the weft) on her massive loom and in weeks turn out a magnificent coverlet or rug. At the time I had no idea of the importance and beauty of this activity nor did I appreciate the heritage that she was a part of. I would love to see a feature on contemporary weavers and their experience with a marketplace that largely doesn't require them any longer.

  • v7atmost

    Siriwong Teeragosolpong from DIYThaiStyle said 4 years ago

    Amazing Idea !!

  • zbeadsjewelry

    Zari Jafri from ExpressedDesigns said 4 years ago

    All of this reminds me of my travels of persi and the middle east. And my rugs

  • styleforlife

    Emily from styleforlife said 4 years ago

    OMG!!!! LOVE.....Anything is like Morrocco.....well besides Bali. Amazing! XOXOXO Emily of EL Vintage

  • debbiewhintey

    Debbie from DJWhitneyDesigns said 4 years ago

    I like the group effort. I don't think I could give up control of a weaving project for others to finish. They have wonderful patterns and the time to create them, definitely warrants a group effort. What a great project to be a part of. I tried to go to the page to see where they are traveling through the US, but no luck...Anyone know where they are going? Is there and exhibit some where?

  • Dolerandsenses

    Doler Shah from DolerAndSenses said 4 years ago

    here is an example of positive creative energy that these women have and the end result of these collective souls endeavor. we all need to learn how in the face of dispair these women with their ingenuity have been resourceful , inventive, adaptive and creative. hats off to them and all the empowered women of the world.

  • aRebelInTheLotus

    Trish Myers from aRebelInTheLotus said 4 years ago

    The link is not working :(. Interesting story though

  • liddysopretty

    liddy sopretty from liddysopretty said 4 years ago

    Wow this is amazing!

  • tamilopez

    Tami Lopez from TamiLopezDesigns said 4 years ago

    These rugs are so absolutely beautiful. The feature tells a really interesting story. What amazing talent!

  • dannybaxter123

    Danny Baxter said 1 year ago

    All this things reminds me about my last rug.I have taken my last rug from http://www.nourisonhospitality.com/site-map/commercial-rugs-suppliers/.It was the best rug i ever found ,but after some years it lost its shinning and all amazing work done on it.

  • artMorocco

    Jamal Sem from ArtMorocco said 224 days ago

    I came across a few amazing people that were hand crafting some of the most beautiful Moroccan rugs that I have ever see. I took a picture of these 3 older women working together on this amazing rug. They were working in harmony trying to make a living. Unfortunately I could not load any picture but I have added them to my Etsy profile.

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