On Deyja.org you can now transform the wardrobe of your deceased loved-one into a unique boucherouite carpet. From experience we know that departing from the clothing of the dead can present an emotional dilemma—one of holding on or letting go. This collaboration embraces both by transforming old clothing into a beautiful carpet by making it part grieving process through, what we call, ritualized co-design.
From (new) life to death
When so many years ago, I left the Netherlands to embark on a journey with my great love, I had one of the first Carpets of Life made with my personal clothing. Clothing that for me represented both the ending and the beginning of that period in my life.
At the time I knew little of the sweet irony of life and how it would bring me back to a collaboration with Carpet of Life a few years later due to the death of that same great love. His death and the insights that this great loss gave me were not only the force behind the initiation of the platform Deyja. But with that, also the idea of creating a cherished memory with the clothes of a deceased loved-one in the form of a fantastic boucherouite rug. Because just like me, relatives often do not know what to do with the clothes of the deceased. You feel resistance to the idea of getting rid of certain items and you would like to give it new life in one way or another.
Once called the 'poor man's carpet' due to the fact it was made from old materials and discarded fabrics, Boucherouite carpets have been on the rise since the 1960s. Wool became scarcer at that time. At the same time, more and more clothes were discarded due to the rise of fast fashion. And so an already ancient technique was applied in a new way, and today such an icon in the Moroccan design industry. Carpet of Life is a non-profit organization, founded with the mission to generate income for women living in the scarcity of the Sahara while giving old textiles new life. Now for Deyja becoming part of a ritualized co-design process.
It is now possible to make a Carpet of Life made of the clothes of a deceased loved one through Deyja. Not only a beautiful and practical solution to give new life to the clothing of the deceased, but something we could call ritualized co-design: using design as a ritual and part of an emotional process. The intake process that precedes the making of a Carpet of Life is done at Deyja. Here special attention is given to the design process as part of our journey in grief. By choosing the visual design of the carpet, by making the the color palette, and by personally starting the design process by cutting the clothing in half before the material is sent to the Sahara to be woven into a rug. This marks the clothing as both unusable at customs and the start of the personal journey in mourning.
Are you interested in creating a Carpet of Life? Read more about the proces and get in touch to start your ritualized co-design journey.