The Kowli Collection talks about nomadic women, about wandering lives, traveling cultures and inquisitive minds.
These kilims were typically woven by nomadic women for their own use and not initially meant as a commercial item. This fact explains the odd sizes of each piece. They use whatever materials they have to make the rugs, including stripes of fabric from their home cloths.
The designs are created from memory and influenced by the weaver’s personality and circumstances in which the kilims are woven.
The Kowlis who make these rugs moved centuries ago to live in Kurdistan of Iran. They had mixed marriages with local nomads. In summer they travel up to cooler areas and to the warmer south in winter, where they live in tents outside the main cities in groups of 10 to 60 families. Each tent represents a marriage.
They do not own sheep or farmland, their main occupation is the manufacture of drums and sieves that are made and sold by the men. They also repair shoes, make bamboo birdcages and flutes.
The women weave carpets and peddle cloth and haberdashery around an itinerary of regular customers.
The women tend to have a stronger economic position, because they inherit their customers from generation to generation.
The Kowli women are a solid presence in their community, not only they pass on a legacy to their daughters, they strengthen their economic options and give them a venue to create and ex-press themselves.
Through colors and shapes they provide a path for innovation by incorporating whatever resources are available to them.
These rugs are woven at lost time, when the women sit together and enjoy lively conversations while embedding scrap rags. It may look as if they are incorporated without much thought but as we observe the final outcome, we realize that along with the laughter and the apparent random use of the rags, there is a deep thought invested in the process of integrating a new rag piece in their design.
Not two looks alike. Each weaver has a clear and distinctive voice, their masterpieces are neatly crafted and astonishingly artistic. They have a fresh contemporary look that emanates the originality of each weaver’s take on the materials they recycle.
These textile works of art represent the work of a community of women that is catching up with the society of waste, upcycling it to beautiful and functional rugs. Their original designs and intricacy give them art quality features that add style and warmth to a space from the moment they are placed on a surface.
Straining the raw materials through traditional motifs and inventing new ones, these pieces are handwoven from recycled materials. The result being some of the most dramatic, gorgeous, colourful area rugs we have ever seen produced by nomad weavers using such humble materials.
These pieces once placed, motivate and intrigue the minds of those lucky enough to share a space with them.
The Kowli Collection represents textile art in its pure form, intuitive and spontaneous. It invites us to be part of a sustainable world.
By reducing solid waste, we instill responsible ideas around us and we offer a better world to the young.
Kowli represents hope against waste. The fact is that in a developed country 15 million tons of used textile waste can be generated per year. Through a costly process they are destined mainly to serve as land fill materials.
This craft shows how through their traditional value of recycling and preventing waste the Kowli women adapt their crafts to a rap-idly changing world while retaining tribal values and a distinctive ethnolinguistic identity as one of Iran’s ancient national minorities.
Each piece is an honest reflection of a beautiful mind.
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