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
carpets. 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.