In a secluded valley in the Serra da Sao Mamede, Alto Alentejo, Portugal.

Arraiolos - Alentejo, Portugal

The small town of Arraiolos is famous for its handcrafted wool carpets and rugs. They have been made here since the second half of the 17th century. They are sewn with wool in a running cross-stitch on a canvas frame. Originally the carpets followed Indian and Persian designs with animal and plant motifs but these began to diminish and were replaced in the 18th century with less rich colours and more popular themes. Antique examples made of silk can be seen in the Victoria and Albert museum in London.

A recent Arraiolos rug using a 16th century pattern

There are numerous shops selling the rugs in the town of Arraiolos. They can be used as floor coverings or wall hangings and range in price from several hundred euro to several thousand depending on the size.