Sidi Mitir, Tunisia | Mehria
Crafted in a small mountain village 110 miles north of Tunisia's capital city, Mehria and her collective, Local Forest Products Association, expertly craft high-quality wool rugs. Each rug is handcrafted on the same style looms found in Egypt over 6,000 years ago using Mohair wool. A type of wool that comes from the angora goat that's well known for its durability.
The production process starts in the spring (May) with the shearing of the angora goats. The wool is collected by the women, washed, brushed and spun into yarn before it is organically dyed. The process takes all summer and by the time winter hits, weaving begins. The weaving of each rug requires several weeks and sometimes months depending on the size and complexity of the weaving.
The yarn is organically dyed with pomegranates, beats, rosemary, juniper, olive and mugwort tree branches. Spices such as coriander, curcuma, and turmeric are also used to dye the fibers.
**Disclaimer: Although the dyes are 100% natural, there is a marginal amount of chemicals used to take out unpleasant scents from the dyes and to help preserve the colors.
Mehria believes in the power of skilled crafts to empower people, which is why she formed the Local Forest Products Association. The collective's mission is to assist at-risk women in the community by providing them a dignified way to earn a living for their families. Many of the women in this collective have come together out of necessity - their husbands (traditional) have either passed away or fell ill and are no longer able to provide for their families.