Three vital extracts from this page:
…Contemporary craftsmen have perpetuated the precious and traditional techniques of their ancestors. Carpet weaving factories in Aïdamoun,Tripoliand Fekheh remain loyal to the Anatolian school, while those of Baaqline still follow the Iranian discipline.
Carpets woven inLebanonare polychromic and very supple. Most commonly used colors, other than black and white, are red, navy blue, pink and yellow. They are often used as floor carpets, but also as sofa or bed covers, decorative pillow cases, or hung as tapestries…
…In the Beqaa valley, more specifically in Fekheh, Jdeidet el-Fekheh, Irsal or Bakkifa, craftswomen weave knotted pile carpets. They weave on vertical looms (haute lisse), producing rudimentary carpets that resemble closely to Anatoly’sBergamacarpets invented byCentral Asia’s nomads.
The knotted pile carpets were manufactured in dark colors, like navy blue, burgundy or brown, and their background was sprinkled with small geometrical designs, lozenges and hexagons. The traditional hand and eye motifs were also commonly found.
Knotted pile carpets are manufactured with ewe wool imported fromBaalbek, and renown for its strength. The wool was first washed and combed, then dyed and spinned, and finally woven.
Traditionally, six women would sit on the ground facing a vertical loom. One of them would sing her directions to the others, hence communicating the number of knots to be made and the colors to be used. In the Beqaa region, women used the symmetrical knot (also called Turkish knot) which held the two weft threads from outside and came out from the inside as a tuft, thus forming the soft side of the carpet. After each knot, the craftswomen cut the thread with their knife. A row of knots is followed by three rows of weft that weavers would press manually with the help of a comb. When weaving is completed, the carpet’s surface is leveled with special scissors.
These women would also use their knotted pile weaving craft to manufacture the pillows and bed covers that every bride had to have in her trousseau…
…While in the village of Hermel, 58 km of Baalbek, workshops weave praying rugs with colored corn straw…
Wow, where did I miss this??!
Much thanks to Joseph Tarrab, a Lebanese Art Critic (to whom it is apparently unjust to describe without mentioning “prominent” or “renowned” at least once), I landed some leads for actual recent and on-going craft-related initiatives!
Aside: Joseph Tarrab was also a member of the Jury in The Age of Bronze: Bronze Casting Competition, an event coordinated by Cesar Nammour and Gabriele Schaub of the Modern and Contemporary Art Museum, for which I was honored with two awards. I can’t stress how strange it is to have any association with Mr. Tarrab, in more ways than one!