A historic crossroads of many civilizations, Tunisia has long been famous for its woven wares. Back in the 5th Century AD, Greek poets already praised the “

embroidered carpets and pillows of Carthage

,” and during the first centuries of Islam, the Aghlabite emirate of Kairouan paid dues to the Caliph of Baghdad partially in


. Thanks to Kairouan, the ancient art of tapestry weaving has flourished through the ages and continues to thrive today. Since Kairouan is the oldest and most famous carpet center in Tunisia, the selection of Kairouanese carpets is enormous. They are usually classified into four large categories: the Alloucha, the Zarbia, the Mergoum, and the Kilim. The carpets of Kairouan are entirely handmade, starting with the shearing of the sheep, progressing through the selection and washing of the wools, spinning of the thread, and ending with the weaving and knotting of the carpets themselves. Furthermore, the creativity and artistic talent of Kairouanese artisans continue to improve on the basic designs through experimentation with an infinite variety of patterns and colors, often producing new masterpieces of harmony and elegance. With a good reason to be proud of the excellent quality of their carpets, Tapis la Tunisie (Tunisian Carpets) has established an extremely rigorous system of quality control, and only those carpets that satisfy the high standards of the board are blessed with the coveted tag that reads “First Choice” (premier choix), delivered by the Tunisian National Office of Artisans. The tag is found on the underside of the carpet, and also describes the exact quality, texture, measurements, type, and production date of the carpet. This is a guarantee of excellence to the buyer.
Handmade Bag/Couffa
A large range of


, specifically designed to ensure ultimate satisfaction in day-to-day use, is an adaptation of Tunisian

traditional baskets

, made entirely of plant fibers, fashionable, and economic, besides being environmentally friendly - a gesture against the abusive use of plastic bags which have largely invaded our kitchens, rivers and environment in general. Couffa basket can accompany you wherever you go, be it shopping, picnicking, or making a daring escape to the beach, or simply to hold your cosmetics. With well-chosen colors and hand-made charm, these baskets can make a nice addition to your attire, assuring maximum comfort and ergonomics for your hands and arms. Inside the basket, or handbag for that matter, there are glossed pockets to hold your personal papers, notes or other important stuff. These

handmade bags

make for excellent gifts, although most customers tend to keep a basket or two for themselves! All made of natural materials – palm leaf, reed, raffia and elephant grass, the bags are 100% recyclable and use biodegradable bubble wrap with recyclable brown paper. The tape is water-based acrylic adhesive which is also better for the environment. The Couffa is found in most every household across Tunisia. To find the best of the best option, go to Art de Tunisie. You can also order online, if that is more suitable for you.
Handmade Chess Set
Handmade Chess Set
Lovely Tunisian

two-tone chess set/coffee table

comprises a board hand-carved out of a piece of olive wood, which makes it rather unique, as none of its elements can be fully replicated. This, in turn, add some truly stunning twist to the habitual black-and-white chess set. Sure to become the focal point of the interior, wherever you put it, the scrolling edges of the table show off the richness of the olive-wood grain. The surface has a fine finish that is silky smooth to the touch. The veins in the chess board are a deep black, brown and cream; no two items are alike.Appreciate the fine workmanship that went into carving of each square on the board and each individual game figure! A handy feature are the two little drawers on the opposite ends of the board, useful for the times when the game stretches on for days and no one wants to lose their opponents' pieces already won. Further to being a game board, it can also be used as a small table that can be dismantled into three parts (base, stand and top) for easy storing. As for the maintenance, it is only limited to the occasional rinse of the wood with olive oil.
Handmade Ceramic Plates
Handmade Ceramic Plates Tunisia is known for its numerous


, which enjoy great support from the government and provide employment to over 120,000 people. Each region of the country specializes in a certain trade; Nabeul and Djerba are famous for their ceramics. The

ceramic plates

< from these regions are 100% made and decorated by hand, using rich colors and traditional motifs inspired by the Islamic tradition, based on geometric forms, foliate shapes (arabesque style) and some figural representations of both fantastic and real animals. In some way, it replicates the antique pottery discovered during the excavation of Roman, Punic and Islamic ruins. The artisans, producing these items, apply a great deal of passion and dexterity. Needless to say that a handmade gift, such as this, will not only add an exotic ambiance to any interior, but will also provide great decoration to the food served in it, being colorful and lead-free. These magnificent articles are available in various designs and sizes, and can be found in the outskirts of the Medina Arbi, in downtown Tunis.