The term kilim comes from Turkish and Eastern Persian. It means “covering”. Kilims are flat tapestry carpets woven by passing the weave through the warp; this is one of its uniqueness that determines its design. Geometric patterns are the most common: Diagonal lines mainly forming reversed diamonds and triangles that are spread across the design, by creating a border or following a pattern, some of them with symmetrical patterns covering the entire bottom of the carpet. As well as decorations, colours give an ideal touch to kilims: Maroon, blue, dark brown.
The exotic dramatic quality of Arabic decoration is extraordinary. A means of escape from the industrialised western decoration so overly confused as to what it aims to aspire to in terms of luxury and the limitation of its resources to serialised, repetitive and angular constructions offering furnishings with laboratory materials resulting in simply pale imitations of the past.
Nature, colour, constructive sets, exquisite materials, engaging ambiences, etc. all of these attract us the decoration projected through magazines as samples of a new luxury concept.
However, is Arabic decoration truly Arabic? Contemporary Arabic culture does not offer, except on rare occasions, any of these aesthetic principles. Even its aspiration is to foolishly mock western standards adding a further over-top-touch, ostentatiousness and bad taste.
In truth that sample of an aesthetic universe based on traditional Arabic culture has been recreated by western foreigners (refined and well-to-do foreign with new horizons free from the inherent atavisms of the west).
Even the recovery of traditional trade, handicrafts and pieces form part of this trend. There is still room for many unanswered questions on philosophical, political, anthropological and religious grounds, although there is plenty of time for them to be asked. The idea has been thrust forward; Arabic decoration is in fact European decoration.
It is worthwhile underlining that this is no way conditions the enjoyment and delight we take from a truly fascinating decorative model that is destined to make us reconsider interior design in the west.
This restaurant located in the Rue d’Anglaterre is –in the opinion of the members of “The African Blog” – one of the best in Tangiers. Both the French cuisine as well as well as impressive levels of customer care and quality services are far removed from the stereotypes one normally finds in Morocco. Furthermore, its decoration, in keeping with the trend for more exclusive spaces in Morocco, manages to incorporate elements of darkest Africa with an industrial vintage motif, all meaning that La Fabrique is a standout restaurant in Tangiers.
The Westwing sales club, devoted to furnishings and decorative complements for the home, offers exclusive sales of products manufactured by renowned Spanish and international brands with important discounts that can reach up to 70%.
Silvia Arenas is the Creative Director of the company in Spain and responsible for the marvellous selection of rugs, decorative accessories, furniture, complements etc. that they make available on a daily basis to style lovers.
The non-Arab cultures are inspired by nature; however Arabs in general are based on Turkish carpets due to theological ethics.
The carpet is the main furniture object for Arab cultures. They are highly important and some cities have even given their names to certain types of fabric such as muslin (Mosul), fustat (Cairo or Fustat).
If there is one proven recommendation we can make from the The African Blog it is the platform for on-line decoration sales Westwing Home and Living.
It was launched four years ago by Delia Fischer, former director of the magazine Elle Decor in Germany, and since then has not stopped growing thanks to its select offer.
Sales are made through campaigns that last only a few days, and each one of these has been meticulously selected by a team of experts in decoration, thus ensuring the quality of the product, its aesthetic, originality and functionality.
Furthermore, it offers an on-line magazine that compiles all of the latest trends in decoration, as well as having interviews with experts in interior design, advice, tips and reports.
It is no surprise to discover it is present in 15 countries (3 years in Spain)
The common denominator of Westwing is the quality of the top-of-the-range brand names amongst which we can find renowned names such as Calvin Klein, Laura Ashley, Becara, Sia, Smeg, Designer’s Guild, Gancedo, Rosenthal, Valentí, etc. and a select list to which The African Touch has also been added.
Suzani is a good example of the Silk Road over centuries. The oldest suzani record was provided by the Castilian ambassador in Tamerlane (15th Century). It is a type of embroidered and decorative tribal textile made in Central Asian countries (Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan…). The households in those regions have suzani pieces across rooms and turn them baroque.
There are several types of Suzani (Bukhara, Lakai, Samarkand…). They are normally made by stripes which are sewn forming a single Suzani piece of art. These stripes are shared among women of every family who are the ones in charge of knitting. This is part of bride’s dowry.
Suzanis usually have a cotton fabric base when embroidered in silk thread and a silken fabric base when embroidered in cotton thread. The most common motifs are part of Zoroastrianism iconography and include sun and moon disks, pomegranates and tulips.
Environments of today are inspired by the immense plains of the Savannah with its unique colours and patterns. The African look is full of emotion and power like nature in its pure state and therefore is strongly linked to nature. This look focuses on ethnical and primitive aspects, as well as on things mankind can create with their bare hands. Decoration items are warm, attractive, mysterious, cosy, relaxing… these details undoubtedly turn a house into a home.
From the Neolithic people used to weave carpets (period in which the tissue was associated to the creation of the word). The most ancient carpet dates from 7200 BC, found in Palestine.
Since then textiles became coloured with plant extracts and insects (Armenian cochineal, indigo, pomegranate, pepper, saffron…)
Arab people were the ones who truly developed the textile industry during the middle Ages, (sometimes the Arab Muslim civilization is presented as a textile civilization).
First carpets were made with linen, an abundant plant in the Nile Delta. They were also made with hemp. Although cotton was known since ancient times, it was incorporated later in the production of carpets.