Folkloristic weaves

weaves, wall carpet, tunisia

Tunisian Wall Carpet Photo:@nini.tjader.2014

This wall carpet was bought in Matmata in the Tunisian desert in 1979 for my fathers birthday. It is genuine handiwork done in the berber desert caves at Matmata (see below) by the women who live/d there. When my father passed way in 1984, I took care of the wall carpet. It is wool. I always regretted that I didn’t buy at least one more of these… It has kept its colors over the years. It is done on a loom that stands upright on the floor. Similar to the looms used in Turkey for kelim carpets.

Tunisian proof of origin

Tunisian proof of origin

What often strikes me is the similarity of folkloristic weaves from different places around the world. To some extent this is probably because of the similar techniques used when doing the weaves, and the often natural pigments used to dye the yarns. They are always in wool and the weave bottom in cotton.

Greek weaves

Greek weaves, photo: ©nini.tjader.2014

The above weaves are all from Greece and pretty small. Bought in a small village on Crete several years ago. At the time, greek women did those weaves at home. Today they are impossible to find. Copies with those patterns are made by machines and are far from genuine. That’s a pity.

I love those folkloristic weaves, no matter which country they come from.


By the way, Matmata in Tunisia was an interesting village in the desert, dug down into the sand dunes, in cover for the heat and the sandstorms. It is still there, and some of the caves are used as hotels (were already then). I guess much has changed over the years with all the tourists visiting. Much of the genuine atmosphere there has probably been lost over the years and the village has become a town totally dependent on tourism.

There is a YouTube video about it (about 11 minutes long). Soundtrack is pretty bad but… One of the StarWars films was filmed there. There are more videos about Matmata, Tunisia on YouTube if you are interested. Not all in English though. Like this one in French. That one has a short sequence at the end about the carpets and otherwise tells about the life in the caves.

matmata, tunisia

Matmata, Tunisa Photo: Nini Tjäder 1979

matmata, tunisia

Matmata, Tunisia Photo: Nini Tjäder 1979



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