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The story of the rugs of Andalusia


The rugs, which the Magic of Spain sells are made from recycled textiles. It is a style of rug production that is based on artisans using hand production techniques that have died out in most of the western world. Spain is one of the few places in western Europe where a tradition of hand making rugs still lives.

 

This original and unique style of rug making originates in the 12th century in an area called Murcia in Spain ­ part of Andalusia. It is here that the Moors introduced rug making to Spain.

History - the Loom

The small area where the rugs are now made was part of the frontier between the Christian areas and the Moorish areas, and became a focus of trading between the two groups. During this period rugs were woven from wool, silk and linen with intricate Arabic designs. Rug production was gradually taken up by Spanish people and later the silk and linen was replaced by cotton.

Rug production really took off in the 17th century with the introduction of the mechanical loom.

It is said that the handmade rugs were originally woven from worn out clothes and were used as bed covers rather than floor coverings. The very poor people would take their old clothes to a workshop to be woven into covers to keep them warm during the cold winter nights. Later, as the industry developed the rugs began to be made from material from the large textile production areas.

The original looms in use.
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Designs are influenced both by the Moorish heritage and by Spain′s relationship with the Americas. Many of the rugs have designs that are influenced by the indigenous cultures - the Native Americans. The designs that The Magic of Spain is presently concentrating on are in natural off-white or very light shades.

 

In the late nineteenth and twentieth century the unique local approach to rug making was severely threatened by mass production and hung on only in the area where The Magic of Spain gets their rugs from.

Today it is starting to flourish again because people are attracted to this natural style of rug.

Only recycled materials are used in the production of hand-woven rugs. The material is separated and wound into bales of each kind of material.

The material is then distributed to the different workshops and unwound. It is then wound to make rug strips which are then dyed. The material is then unwound and placed on bobbins, which is then placed on looms which weave it into the shape of rugs.

Because of the hand techniques used no two rugs are the same. When each rug leaves the loom the edges are sown to produce the finished article.


They are then cleaned and are ready to be shipped to England where they are sold by The Magic of Spain.

Stitching the edge.
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