In Tunisia, Kairouan is considered the "city of carpets" shops offer a wide selection of a variety of rugs from all over the country. True, they produce only "Kairouan" - nodosa carpet, which first appeared in Tunisia in the XIX century. under the influence of Turkish carpet weaving techniques.
Today, with the assistance of ONAT (National Bureau of Tunisian artisans), thousands of women are employed in the manufacture of knotted carpets. In contrast to "thin" the carpets from Turkey and Iran real "Kairouan" should be "hard", from 100 000 to 200 000 knots per m 2 (1,000-2,000 per dm 2). The patterns on the carpet, following the old oriental designs, are images of medallions and climbing plants.
The traditional "kilim" is made on a lathe. There are many types and forms of carpets "kilim" all onibogato decorated with patterns in the tradition of Berber tribes. The most famous of them - "mergum" that weave in Gabes, pattern "merguma" is a pattern of small triangles, diamonds and lines. Further west, in the Jerid, a geometric pattern is replaced by figure: stylized gazelles and camels, buckles - brooches and "bunch of fives" or "Hand of Fatima" (almost always on a red background). The only traditional Tunisian nodosa carpet - is "gtifa" narrow and very long carpet that laid on the floor or ground in wealthy homes or farms nomads. With the change in the life of nomads and their transition to a settled way of life art of making these rugs more forgettable.
Carpets are certified ONAT and they also assigned a market price. Carpets 'Kairouan' are divided into categories according to the density of knots.
Fortified from the inside of the carpet price tag should be considered as belonging ONAT only when it is provided with the appropriate seal. Instead of the original labels unscrupulous sellers often use fake, which show higher price.
The price can be negotiated, certainly not in the case where the seller asking price is 100% higher than the anticipated final. With the known ability and promise to pay in cash, one can make up to 20% discount. When paying by credit card merchants often offer the lowest discount.
In carpet shops often offer to send goods to Europe. When you purchase should closely monitor to ensure that all data on the purchased carpet were made to the sale and purchase agreement. To avoid unpleasant surprises on arrival home, it is imperative to record registration number in the register ONAT. Usually packed carpets in front of a client and sealed.
If they wanted to avoid a dirty trick on the part of the seller did not lose sight of the opportunity to enjoy the atmosphere of the trading process. For example, a seller may initially ordered the tea or soft drinks, and only then with proper irony begins to spread their carpets to the purchaser.
Note that the person of the staff, which will be no end to advise you as a leader, most of all - a front man. The present owner is held back and gives orders to his employees through symbols or facial expressions.