Brief history: Arraiolos rugs are original from Arraiolos town, and their beginning is a mystery to everyone, including scholars. The earliest known document where there is a reference of an Arraiolos rug is from the late 16th century. The rugs had their golden period in the seventeenth and eighteenth century. Then during the 19th century there was a decay and production stopped, reappearing in 1916 following an exhibition of Arraiolos Rugs at the Carmo Convent in Lisbon, organized by the illustrious Arraiolan painter Dordio Gomes. After 1974 a few dozen stores appeared and start to reproduce old rugs and also looking for some innovation. Now, in the 21st century, only a few of these stores have survived.
At Alentejo Heritage we like Arraiolos Rugs very much and recognize their great quality, so we invest in a small production to have a line of rugs that respect what we consider to be the tradition of the rug (stitch, background, bar and fringe, motif decoration). We create new designs inspired by regional motifs, in an attempt to combine sobriety, contemporaneity and innovation.
Finally, we would like to mention that, since there is no certificate that guarantees that an Arraiolos rug is embroidered locally, at Alentejo Heritage we decided to identify the embroiderer of each of our rugs as a proof of authenticity, making our values alive, like sustainability which means we value genuine craftsmanship and the people who hold that knowledge.