July 15, 2020
What Is a Moroccan Style Rug?

Like any interest, the world of rugs may be a little too intimidating and vast for a novice. Granted, rug connoisseurs started somewhere themselves but it’s quite agreeable that there should be guides⁠—especially for styles.

What Is a Moroccan Style Rug? 

Like any interest, the world of rugs may be a little too intimidating and vast for a novice. Granted, rug connoisseurs started somewhere themselves but it’s quite agreeable that there should be guides⁠—especially for styles.

Even when categorized under styles, a dizzying amount of information still needs to be understood before fully grasping just one style. One such style is the Moroccan style rug⁠—and here is everything you need to know about it. 

Characteristics

History and culture play important parts in Moroccan style rugs. Rugs are distinguishable by the patterns and colors they possess which allows you to identify which rugs were made by which tribes. 

Each tribe had a different culture that would be evident on the rugs they made for usage. Here are some characteristics you ought to notice. 

Thickness

As a reflection of the country’s distinct climate, thicker rugs were made in high elevations and thinner, flat-weave cloaks were used in the Sahara heat. 

Beni Ourain rugs—a distinct Moroccan style rug—usually made by tribes to protect them from the cold climate of the Atlas Mountains. These rugs are hand-weaved from pure wool.

Size

Given that these Moroccan tribes often travelled place to place which largely had an influence on the size of the rugs they weaved. To make way for ease of travel, rugs were often between 5 to 7 feet wide and between 3 to 10 meters long. 

Patterns and Colors

What makes these rugs even more unique is the fact that no two rugs are alike. Made by the expert hands of the women in the tribe, symbolic languages and personal experiences are hand-woven and knotted into the rugs to tell the story of the own who created it. 

The tribe of which the maker is part of also plays a part in the details of the rug itself. Here are tribes and the tell-tale signs to characterize the rugs they make. 

Beni Ourain

Rugs made by the Beni Ourain, as mentioned, are made of pure wool. Commonly, these cream-colored wool that feature simple abstract and geometric patterns. An authentic vintage Beni Ourain rug be cream in color—not snow white.

Minimalist rug connoisseurs opt for Beni Ourain rugs because of their undyed, natural cream colors. With only hints of henna-brown hues, the patterns are simple yet elegant in nature.

Azilal  

A different Berber tribe hand-weaved rugs that also featured minimalist patterns—but this time, with a few hints of color. 

The Azilal tribe used hints of root dyes that come off as saffron and indigo, as well as henna. Such hints of color could be found on the fringes and motifs of the rug. Each of these colors represent different meanings such as strength, protection, wisdom, and eternity. 

What puts this rug on a pedestal is that the makers employed single knots and created intricate designs on the rug. 

Boucherouite 

Since wool was getting more difficult to obtain, Boucherouite rugs are products of recycled materials that often had more scraps of cotton, nylon, and lurex than wool. 

Despite the shortage of wool, the expert craftsmanship of these women were still able to produce rugs that feature different intricate patterns that one cannot replicate. 

Conclusion

This style of high-quality rugs feature different characteristics that make it unique from the rest. Rich with culture and experiences, Moroccan style rugs offer more than a unique centerpiece for your home—they offer stories told through intricate designs and subtle colors.

David Nourafshan

Passionate reader | People person | The one behind Lawrence of La Brea
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