Ever find yourself shopping in some wonderfully exotic bazaar and you encounter a word that seems familiar, something you've heard but never really understood the origins behind? Well, you are in luck! We've done our field work, shopped the souks and markets around the world and taken note of all those words and put together an essential list of artisan vocabulary to have you sounding like a pro in every shopping destination around the globe from the bazaars of Istanbul to the mercados of Mexico City.
The French word babouche originates from the Arabic and Persian words relating to foot coverings. The enigmatic slipper has become a symbol of Morocco and is actually worn by local men. Babouche slippers come in endless colors, leathers and fabrications - we think this emrboidered, bright, and two-toned pair c'est chic for spring!
Often known as Moroccan Wedding Blankets, handiras are traditionally worn by Berber women as ceremonial capes - you can sometimes find ones with straps still on them. These handwoven ivory wool and cotton textiles are artistically embellished with silver sequins in patterns to symbolize tribe, family and name. These one-of-a-kind bohemian treasures look great draped over couches or beds.
Ikat is the name of a distinctive weaving technique beaing practiced throughout Asis, and although a laborious tast, the outcome is glorious with what seems like an infinite number of patterns and possibilities. We were recently in Istanbul to commission a series of pillows crafted from contemporary ikat designs.
Now a national symbol of Colombian pride, this simple sack, made by the Wayuu Tribe and carried by working class locals, has become a must-have fashion accessory. These artisanal treasures are perfect for toting everyday neccessities - you will be shocked at home much they can hold and how effortless they are to carry!
Originating from the Mexican state of Hidalgo in the Eastern Sierra Madre, the intricate and brightly hued designs of the Otom? embroidery depicts animals, plants and forces of nature that were originally inspired by ancient wall paintings. We can't get enough of these happy patterns for our homes and our wardrobes - check out our newest tunics features classic Otom? design.
Peshtemal is what the locals call the ultra thin and super absorbant towels founds in traditional Turkish hammams. Used for over 600 years, today's peshtemal towels are handwoven in cotton or liven and are great when used as a scarf, sarong or towel. Check out the comfortable and lightweight peshtemal robes that we just brought back from Istanbul.
At its most basic, the Mexican rebozo is a hand-woven shawl, created on a backstrap loom of natural fibers. This all-purpose shawl is worn by local women throughout their lives and is used for everything from carrying children to an evening wrap. There is nothing chicer than Frida Kahlo draped in a rebozo.
Derived from the Persian word for 'needle', suzani refers to a range of embroidered textiles originating from Central Asia. The intricately embellished designs were traditionally made for a bride's dowry, and now these cotton and silk tapestries are used to cover beds, walls, and tables. We are obsessed with all forms of suzani embroidery and are always actively trying to track down vintage patterns wherever we go.