With autumn just beginning and the possibility of cooler weather on the way, John and I set off to find rugs for the rooms – traditional jarapas made in the Alpujarras since Arab times. Originally made to protect a mattress from the rough old bed base below, their production was dying out as people bought more modern and less wearing bed bases.
The Andalucian government set up a scheme to keep the traditions alive and teach the ancient skills to new artisans. They form a thriving part of the area´s tourist industry.
We found what we wanted in the little mountain village of Pampaneira. Guests sometimes think we are a bit remote but this was impresionante as you would say in Spanish. Very steep, winding switchbacks up forested slopes in the high sierras. A tiny village (pop. 300) dedicated solely it would seem to tourism. Every house was a shop or a cafe. And rug dealers everywhere!
I found a dealer I liked, chose the rug I wanted, and was told they would take two months. What! When I contacted the boss, however, that was quickly reduced to two weeks! We will see who was right, the weaver or the boss!
Here´s a clip of the weaving process:
I was so busy looking at rugs that I forgot to take photos so I am grateful to Sonja, the Migrating Miss for permission to use her lovely photographs of Pampaneira. www.migratingmiss.com