Updated: Sep 30, 2022
The story of how Persian Carpets would came into my life started long before it crossed my path. It stared about 15 years ago when my in-laws bought their very first 2 small Mori Bokara’s for next to their bed, for a steal of course – their very first lesson about Persian Carpets also followed soon after : You get different qualities Persian Carpets and when you get to buy them at a “too good to be true” price, it normally is and you will be let down , don’t let a dishonest salesperson leave a bitter taste in your mouth about something that is SO GOOD! Even though they realized the quality may not have been what they thought them to be, they fell in love with the story behind them, which inspired them to reach out and were put in contact with one of the largest, most reliable, passionate and honest Persian Carpet importers in the country, to this day, we are so grateful for this connection, as it is definitely not an easy one to make…
So, jumping to 6 years ago, I met my husband, our whirlwind romance had me jump head over heels into his life, their life.. Him and his father, Ben van Wyk, who sadly passed away in 2020 as full time Artists and Persian Carpets.
Growing up in a simple household, where Persian Carpets were not common, it was my very first time getting a sneak peek into that world. I had no knowledge about them and what the hype was about these pretty carpets, but I had always had very deep appreciation for art.
A small while into our relationship, I went along to the very first festival of the year for them, Innibos Festival in Nelspruit. As we set up the stall and packed out and hung up all the beautiful carpet stock they had brought along for the festival was the first time I really took the time to admire each piece individually, to look at their colours, designs, how small and unique each little knot made by hand was and I loved them already.
When the festival started the next day and customers came and looked at the carpets, my husband or in-laws got up to go assist them. They asked the regular, expected questions like what sizes they needed or what color scheme they were looking at, but my mouth really started hanging open when they started explaining that certain carpets were better suited for certain areas, that some types of carpets are meant to take more punishment than others and that this was because of what type of wool was used and what area the wool came from and what part of the sheep the wool came from! That the wool was not only hand-spun and naturally coloured by using teas, roots, minerals etc. but that some types of carpets were still made by nomadic tribes that travel the deserts with their herds, on camel, from water point to water point.
I was so inspired, I hung on every word they said that week, just taking it all in, listening, learning and just being more intrigued by these amazing things each passing day.
I took time to read up and the more I learned, the more I wanted to know, that is why, to this very day, I still tell customers, with firm belief, that once you get hooked on them, they become an addiction.
I saw people speaking about pieces they’ve owned for many many years already and how they just became more beautiful the longer they had them, I saw a new passion for things I’ve never known from the people buying them AND selling them.
After that week, it was just a quick week break until the next festival, Free State Art Festival in Bloemfontein.
For the very first time, before the festival, I got to go along to the importer, to his warehouse.. I was amazed to see the amount and variety of carpets he had there in one space. As we moved through the building, selecting each piece to go along to the festival individually, they spoke the names of each different carpet, where they came from, what they are made from and how they were made. I couldn’t believe that there were so many different kinds and that each one had their story, coming from their own area, made by a certain group of people who has passed this amazing tradition and skill down from generation to generation, keeping it alive as it is their livelihood. That some were made with silk and knotted on strong, pure cotton bases, others wool on wool. Some knotted completely by hand, one knot at a time, others on looms and others woven, each made to serve their purpose for many years to come.
In this piece, I will not even go into the history about the different pieces to much, but it is amazing to think that they originated to purpose as doors and to sleep on, and when they were to be made for carpets, many famous artists were commissioned to design patterns and motifs, along with the native symbols and motives of the tribes and areas they originated from. Some of the earlier pieces even had gold spun into them. Some of these pieces can still be found in old castles, museums, historical homes and even the pyramids.
My love also originated from the honesty behind the sale, even though the sales are our livelihood, it really is the most important to us that you not only get the carpet that suits your budget and style best, but that you get the perfect carpet for your needs. We want you to be so happy with the carpet that you bought, that you just can’t help but fall in love with it each day until you can’t help yourself to buy another.