During our vacation on Zakynthos Island I’ve stumbled upon some beautiful locally made runners. Stripped and colourful these original mats woven of cotton stripes just couldn’t remain unnoticed:
Tradition to weave these mats exists since long time in Mediterranean countries, and you can find similar pieces in Turkey and Morocco. On the picture is shown the process of making this type of rug, which consists in interlocking warp (vertical threads) and weft (horizontal cotton stripes).
Since I first spotted these mats in Keri village where we stayed, I thought it might be a good idea to buy few of them to sell in my boutique. I personally loved them so much that would imagine to use in my own house: as a runner on the kitchen, as a bath mat or even as a blanket for a picnic. They are very practical and eco-friendly. So now the question was where to buy them better. The next village from us was Lithakia and we decided to check over there too…. and, we couldn’t find even one shop selling them. The owner of our bungalow where we stayed said that if we want to see a traditional Greek village we should go to Koiliomeno (so we thought it might be a good place to search for local crafts as well). I don’t know, what exactly he meant, but Koiliomeno looked more or less the same as Keri and we didn’t see anything particular about it. Despite, perhaps, an old chapel, which was built several centuries ago. In regards to the crafts we saw there only one shop, vert touristic, where prices were approximately three times higher than in the rest of the shops on the island. The owner had only two rugs for sell, but the price was a way exaggerated.
Quite disappointed we decided to simply ask people on the street about where to buy these mats (gingered up by bad luck so far it started to become a fixing idea for me – my poor husband!). Volimes – was our new stop suggested by one Greek lady we met. She said that this is the place, where all these mats are made and all other villages are buying from them. Since it was quite far we decided to postpone it to the next day and combine with our trip to the ship wreck beach, since it was very close to it. On our way we saw several shops selling the mats right on the road:
Don’t know why but I was expecting to see in Voilmes several big manufacturers with huge show rooms over there. Well, what to say, it was a bit too assumptive. Yes, in Volimes there were several very good souvenir shops with lots of pottery and textile production. I especially loved kitchen utensils hand carved from the olive tree:
In regards to the rugs, the choice here was even more limited than in Keri:
Comparing all what we saw, we decided that the best place to buy the mats will be our Keri village, where we saw them for the first time.
And here are the pieces that I have picked for my shop:
When we returned to our holiday house I decided to test how they would look in the actual environment, for example, on the terrace, and was really pleased with the result:
I also thought it would be cool to use them as beach mats too:
Having searched on the web I have found these wonderful examples, how colourful striped rugs, similar to mine, can be successfully incorporated in home decor:
Now I really want to hear your opinion – do you like these new items in my shop? In which space, you think, they will suit most?