Sunday, April 11, 2010

Yes, I have been to Morocco, how can you tell?

I did it. I finally did it. I have wanted one for a while and was wondering how long I could resist the urge. I held off for 9 months. I knew which design and color I wanted, and the price point. So I bought one.

Guide books tell you that you are really out of the ordinary if you leave Morocco without a carpet. Other teachers at my work have bought carpets. My friends visiting from Australia bought carpets. Even my mum is the proud owner of a Moroccan cactus fibre and cotton hand woven carpet. So it was my turn. I found the desgn and colors I wanted and was intrigued to find that my particular carpet was made out of camel hair. Definitly not as silky smooth as the cactus fibre, or as soft as the sheep wool, but as strong and sturdy as a camel itself.

Jeff and I had visited the same carpet sellers house on our Moroccan trip back in 2007. We were backpacking then and although we loved the carpets and wanted one badly, we could not afford one or bear to carry it around with us. So upon walking through the mud bricked entrance of the berber house, I knew this was it.

Carpets are everywhere in Morocco. But how do you know if one is handmade? Well, let me tell you. Look at the ends. One end will have tassels, and the other, knots to show how the carpet weaver tied the fibres to the loom to begin the weaving process.

My mother was first. She was taken withe a saffron dyed cactus fibre and cotton carpet. Very silky smooth and bright, with the all seeing eye embroidered in the middle.

Then it was my turn. I played coy to get the price down. Then when the seller would go no further, we shook hands on the deal. A handmade, one of a kind, bright, berber, camel carpet all for myself!

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