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Mohamed Kahhal exhibits tapestries that blend tradition and contemporary art

Egypt’s oldest handmade rug and carpets maker blends the traditional threads of its heritage with those of contemporary Arab art, with 14 of the country’s most promising artists and designers.

In the heart of Cairo’s iconic Cinema Radio is Outloud Collective, an exhibition of handmade tapestries created by multidisciplinary talents. The idea for the exhibition came from Mohamed El-Kahhal, the fifth generation managing director of the Kahhal 1871 brand. His respect for traditional carpet making is combined with modern art.

Modern tapestries still made by hand

Founded in 1871 by Abdallah El-Kahhal, a Syrian immigrant to Egypt, the brand has grown over the past 151 years to become one of Egypt’s most respected carpet manufacturers. The exhibition, organized for the second year in a row, brings together a wide variety of professions closely or distantly related to the art world, such as architects, fashion designers and designers. The upholsterer has offered a total freedom of colors, materials, shapes and representations to the designers with whom he collaborates, with one condition: a handmade craft, proof of authenticity and respect for traditions.


Karim Fayyad handmade rug.

Illustrating the Egyptian creative scene

Although the distinction between art, fashion and design remains blurred, this exhibition highlights their union. “What is crucial today is that we are showcasing local designers, artists and fashion designers – this is the best way to support, develop and gain an international audience for the Egyptian creative scene,” said Kahhal. Egypt is experiencing a real artistic boom, and this original proposal confirms it.


Ferdinand Leger hand-knotted rug.

Published on 24 February 2022