Supporting Artisans

September 9, 2011

Posted by Kanga.

Meet our new kitchen table.

beechwood table with drop leaf sides

The table itself is not important. It’s just an Ikea table with drop leaf sides and a few drawers. The cats were disappointed to find the drawers too small for them to get into. No, the important thing here and the reason for this post is the table runner.

close up of magenta/green/white/black woven table runner

This was made by an Emirati woman as part of the Sougha program of the Khalifa Fund. Emirati women who are skilled in the traditional weaving craft used in creating bedouin tents have been encouraged to develop smaller products and keep the weaving tradition alive and well.

blue/green/white striped carry bag

My first purchase was a carry bag just the right size for my iPad. We’ve made our purchases at the Abu Dhabi International Book Fair the last two years. They sell at other events and festivals, so keep your eyes peeled for Sougha products.

Info on other blogs & articles:

Cultural Arts Travelogue
The Office of the Brand of Abu Dhabi
Gulf News
The National



  1. I love this stuff! So how much does a hand woven table runner or carrying bag cost? What’s the required import duty if you bring some back to Portland?

    • I don’t remember the exact amounts. As with most handcrafts like this, the prices were higher than we would normally pay, but we were motivated to support the program. For the larger items, we’re talking $50-$75. They have developed smaller items, like book covers, book marks, small purses, etc. The real trick is in knowing where and when they will have a booth.

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