The story of our products starts in Morocco’s High Atlas Mountains. Knotting and weaving woolen rugs and cushions is a craft that is passed on from mother to daughter in these areas. Traditionally using wool from their own sheep, and local plants and minerals for colouring the wool. Thereafter, the wool is hand-spun into yarn. Using these traditional techniques, it takes up to 8 weeks to make a rug. With YKON interiors we want to encourage this conscious and dedicated approach. That is why we work entirely through these traditional processes.
You can’t imagine the Atlas mountains without the shepherds and their herds of sheep. Sheep from the High Atlas have long fur due to the very cold winters up there. These long wool fibres are less likely to unravel or fluff compared to short wool fibres. We buy the wool we use in our products from local shepherds.
Next, the wool is washed in the river. Not only does that save a lot of tap water, river water is also less hard than tap water and therefore better for the wool. After the washing is done, the women remove the twigs and thistles that the sheep have collected in their furs over the past years.
The next step in the process of making our rugs and cushions is spinning the wool. The women spin the wool completely by hand into thread using a spindle. You can’t image how skilled they use this tool when spinning the yarn into various thicknesses. Every cooperative has only a few – mostly elderly – women who have this skill.
After being spun, the wool is dyed with minerals, plants, and colour pigments. We use soda to degrease the wool and alum to stain the wool. We then heat the treated wool together with plants or pigments. As a result we get these rich earthy and natural tones.
Knotting & weaving
Eventually the women start the process of knotting and weaving. It takes about 6-8 weeks to knot a rug. Every square meter counts around 25.000 knots. The women work on their own rug from start to finish. Cushions are woven on a loom. This takes up to 2-3 weeks.
When the design is ready, the rug is cut loose and finalised. Finally, the rugs will get another river bath and dry in fresh mountain air. We transport our rugs and cushion by road to Belgium in reusable bags. And we deliver your order in the same bag right to your doorstep.
Background stories on our (business) journey, processes, partners and collection
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