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The Boucharouite Project

Magic carpets.

When Paris-based, Toronto-raised designer Calla Haynes stopped producing her eponymous ready-to-wear label in 2015, she was left with bolts of archival fabric that had been custom designed and developed. Instead of selling the fabric or simply throwing it away, Haynes—an eminent textile print designer who has collaborated with brands such as Chloé, Eres, and Zadig & Voltaire—had the idea of repurposing her luxe fabrics as material for making Moroccan Boucharouite rugs, which are traditionally crafted from household fabric scraps, and the Boucharouite Project was born.

“There’s a real connection between Paris and Marrakesh,” says Haynes. “I just started becoming obsessed with these rugs, researching them, and then finally finding different resellers and manufacturers in Morocco until I found the right people that understood what I wanted to do.”

Now, through Holt Renfrew’s H Project, these one-of-a-kind carpets are available in Canada. There are two styles of Berber rugs—Boucharouite and Azilal—and three sizes to choose from. Each rug can be rendered in a custom colour palette, depending on availability from Haynes’ treasure trove of fabrics. Made-to-order by female artisans in Morocco, a large carpet can take over 40 hours to knot by hand, and incorporate up to 20 different fabrics.

If a traditional Boucharouite rug tells the life story of its maker, the carpets from the Boucharouite Project convey a thoroughly modern narrative, one in which leftover textiles from a fashion label can find a beautiful second life.

The Boucharouite Project is at Holt Renfrew Bloor Street through June 4, 2018.


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