Algeria, Hocine Bazine, Berber Rug Weaving
Hocine Bazine has been weaving Berber rugs since childhood. His grandmother taught him, starting with selecting different types of wool (whether the thread should be short, long, rough or thin), the dyeing process, and using undyed, naturally colourful wool in its various shades from white to yellow, from brown and grey to black. Bazine is committed to making his rugs of the highest quality and with the least environmental impact: they are made with 100% sheep’s wool and pearl cotton fibres.
Berber rugs themselves have a long and complex history. ‘The rural rugs are woven on vertical looms by women using the wool of the local white and brown sheep to create intricate geometric designs in supplementary weft and weft float weave, with two-strand twining exclusively a characteristic of Berber weaving in the High Atlas Mountains,’ writes Joe Lewis in Selvedge Issue 22. Bazine is from and works in the mountains in the heart of Algeria, in a city called Ghardaia, also well-known as the "Pearl of Oasis". Weaving rugs was, and still is, the main source of income for many families, but Bazine is also motivated by the notion of helping keep his culture alive, and to someday pass on this craft to his grandchildren.