Made by women

These are made by women. In these cases women in Greece. I admire their handicraft.


Handicraft by women in Greece. Photo: ©nini.tjader.2014

Upper left is a bag that when I bought it was filled with handpicked oregano. I bought it because of the oregano. It comes from the island of Karpathos in Greece and the village of Olympos, which has a long tradition of matriarch rule. (More about Olympos at Karpathos here).

The upper righthand one is also from somewhere in Greece, I don’t remember where.

The two bottom ones comes from a monastery and are made by nuns who sell them to tourists for their income. They are extremely well made.

Neither of them are my style really. I am not one of those who put little cloths under everything in my home. But I admire the handicraft and sometimes cannot resist buying things like these when abroad. I really have nowhere to put them. They don’t fit in my home. So they are kept in a cupboard with the bigger table cloths that I also never use…

Posted by nini in handicraft, Thoughts, Various, 0 comments

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



Posted by nini in Design, Furniture and Decoration, handicraft, 0 comments