Weaving and rugs have always been a part of my life. Growing up, I remember crawling around on the scratchy, flat woven wool rugs that my grandfather brought back from Saudi Arabia in the 80's. I always thought they smelled just a bit like the goats that my grandparents raised on their farm. A smell that now brings back memories of growing up in rural Missouri before we moved to Alabama.
My grandparents raised sheep and goats on their 150+ year old farmstead about an hour outside of St. Louis. My grandmother was particularly interested in natural dying techniques, and grew her own plants, or hunted for natural materials, to create the perfect dye hues. Together, they raised the animals, sheared and prepared the wool, spun it into thread on a spinning wheel, and then wove the finished thread into whatever end product my grandmother wanted. To this day, one of my regrets is that I never learned this craft from my grandmother to pass onto later generations.
One of the most precious treasures I own, is a kilim that my Grandfather brought back from Saudi (the rug on the left in the above image). My father passed it down to me a couple of years ago and it will always find a spotlight in our home. Before he passed away, my Grandfather loved talking about his time there, not about the work that he was sent over there to do, but about the people. He used to spend his time after work in bedouin camps getting to know the families. Most of the rugs that he brought back didn't come from the markets, but came from the homes of the families that he created relationships with; a beautiful woven memory of the friendships he built and the time he spent over there. All of our lives should be woven together by sweet memories like this. I love the time worn flaws on my rug because each imperfection holds a story. One of our goals with our own company, is to weave the lives of those who make our products and the lives of those who fall in love and choose to cherish those items.
Any time I post an image with my Grandfather's rug in it, someone reaches out about interest in it...and unfortunately for them I will not be parting with it! And since Agra Culture isn't currently sourcing rugs, we have pulled together a whopping list of twenty eight online rug sources so you can find your own gorgeous woven masterpiece and add a story to your home. Each source below has an amazing story to tell, a vivid website, and gorgeous Instagram account, so if you didn't know about them before, you should definitely follow them now. Your rug inspiration is endless.
Images above taken by Sleepy Fox Photography.