Kahhal Looms reveal a capsule collection in collaboration with Louis Barthélemy

To celebrate the 100th anniversary of the discovery of Tutankhamun’s tomb, the Egyptian heritage company and the French multidisciplinary artist and designer release a selection of carpets inspired by King Tut.
Kahhal Looms reveal a capsule collection in collaboration with Louis Barthélemy

Tutankhamun, or King Tut as he's sometimes called, was the antepenultimate pharaoh of the 18th Dynasty of ancient Egypt. He ascended to the throne around the age of 9 and reigned until his death around age 19 and thus is known as the child king.

In popular culture, Tutanhkhamun is known for his vastly opulent wealth found during the 1922 discovery of his tomb, the only such tomb to date to have been found in near-intact condition.The discovery of his tomb is widely considered one of the greatest archaeological discoveries of all time.

History is brought to life with a carpet collection to celebrate 100 years, since the ultimate discovery of Tutankhamun’s tomb, the first unimpaired and whole royal tomb in modern times. Now celebrated a century later, the tomb’s finding at the Valley of the Kings, Upper Egypt, has commuted archaeologist’s visions.

In honor of this historical milestone, Kahhal Looms collaborates with Louis Barthélemy, to pay tribute to the ancient Egyptian king, in an abstraction of handmade rugs and tapestries currently showcased at the Grand Egyptian Museum in Giza. The first preview of the capsule collection was unveiled at Kahhal Looms’ store opening event, ‘A Night of Weaving Eternity’, the first event to ever take place inside the globally anticipated Grand Egyptian Museum, to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the discovery of Tutankhamun’s tomb.  

The El Kahhal family has the oldest heritage in handmade rugs production and trading, and has been operating out of their retail store in Khan El Khalili since 1936. As a result of emerging market needs and changing customer requirements, the fifth generation Kahhal Looms was born. Established by Hend El Kahhal and Mohamed El Kahhal in 2002, where they branched from the classic El Kahhal carpets to introduce contemporary rugs and modernizing the retail experience by expanding from the heart of Cairo to East and West of Cairo. 

Kahhal Looms utilizes the family heritage, know-how and market experience to venture into developing new designs, contemporary techniques and sourcing unique products to accommodate the modern lifestyle and aspiring demands. All the product range is weaved locally by skilled labor from the finest materials creating unique one-of-a-kind pieces and include fine hand-knotted carpets, hand-tufted rugs and Kilim. 

Louis Barthélemy (picture above) is a multi-disciplinary artist and designer based between Marrakesh, Cairo and Paris. At the core of his practice is a deep commitment to the preservation and revival of traditional crafts that are threatened by globalization. Barthélemy not only collaborates with artisans around the world but helps to make their work known, safeguard the livelihoods, and pass on their precious expertise.

The Kahhal Looms x Louis Barthélemy Capsule Collection comprises of two unique rugs and two distinctive tapestries handmade to portray Tutankhamun’s allegorical mask, which is one of the most prominent findings in archeology. Tutankhamun’s emblematic mask must be the most viewed Pharaoh mask of all times, ubiquitous in Egyptian iconography and engraved on the one-pound coin. With its gold stripes inlaid with colored glass and gemstones including lapis lazuli, this symbolic treasure served as the ultimate inspiration for the creation of the masterpieces.

The designs are creatively brought to life in two constructive colorways to symbolically celebrate the natural and repetitive cycle of day and night in one’s daily life. The “Radiating Masks” rugs and “Swirling Legacy” tapestries are enhanced in the blue casts with a tinge of ivory to reminisce the nights of ancient Egypt. Contrary to the dark nights, the sunny and bright atmosphere is amplified, by using a contrast of yellow insinuated with soft pink. These warm colors evoke the radiant daylight of modern and ancient Egyptian days. 

Images courtesy of Flare PR, used with permission.

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