The Copelands have set up symbiotic organisations called Weft and Warp to help Afghan women weavers. Employment brings financial security for widows and their children, and importantly, gives incentive and social networks, and boosts morale.
Alexandra designs carpets and markets them at a nominal profit - this is WEFT.
Afghan women weave Alexandra's designs in their homes in Afghanistan. This is WARP - Women of Afghanistan Rug Project.We couldn't get over how cheap the rugs and carpets were, especially considering the amount of work that goes into them.
There were many beautiful rugs of both traditional and modern design, using different techniques and yarns. Several of the rugs were woven using the soumak technique and it looked very much like knitting but with a different texture. There were also reversible rugs and we had to look very hard to see where the ends were. Very impressive weaving.
One aspect that interested me was that of using slits in the weaving to add to the design. In the weaving I have been learning, we sew these slits together but today I learnt that they can provide an extra element to the design. I asked for permission to take a photo of the technique, here below.