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Rugs Of The Holy Land

NO rugs of importance are woven in Palestine. In several villages a coarse cloth is made which is waterproof because of its firm texture. It is used for cloaks or abas, and these are worn by all the men of the land. In Bethlehem is made the coarse cloth which is used as tent covering. This is produced from the sombre hair of the Palestine goat.

All Syrian rugs are made of pure wool, a home product of an average quality. Looms operated by machinery are unknown. The rugs are made in a primitive fashion by the peasant women and girls, who work at the looms in their own homes when not en-gaged in field labor or domestic duties. They also do the washing, dyeing, and spinning of the wool. The introduction of rug-weaving into Syria took place about the beginning of the nineteenth century, when a number of families emigrated from Brusa to villages of Syria, where they taught their art. For many years excellent rugs were woven, Haidamur especially taking the lead in superiority of quality, design, and durability. Unfortunately, the original designs and blending of colors introduced from Turkey have entirely disappeared, and only inferior rugs are now made throughout the country. The chief colors in the modern Haidamur rugs are red and black, or sometimes crimson and black, with black or dark brown figures at each end. At Damascus a few rugs are woven, but not of any great value or distinctive beauty.

( Originally Published Late 1900's )

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