The Spanish knot is a candidate to be UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage. The Ministry of Culture of Spain intends to safeguard a dying technique.
The Royal Tapestry Factory in Madrid is the only place in the world where this technique is used today. Marta Soria is one of the eight weavers who use it:
“Well, like the dinosaurs a bit, we feel. We’re rare… or endangered, but we want to keep it.”
The Spanish knot has practically disappeared since the end of the last century. It lived its golden age in the Iberian Peninsula between the fifteenth and seventeenth centuries. It had been introduced by the Arabs in the 8th century, although it is an ancient technique, as the director of the Royal Tapestry Factory, Alejandro Klecker, explains:
“We believe they are 2,000 years old because some remains have been found in excavations with a knot, of course, very similar to the Spanish knot.”
1,600 euros per square meter
In the Royal Tapestry Factory of Madrid, only 12 rugs are made per year. It takes 15 days of work to weave a square meter, which costs 1,600 euros. An inaccessible luxury for most pockets.