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The Versatility of Berber Rugs

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Berber carpets and rugs have been a staple in the interior decorating community for centuries. This is due to their classically creative patterns that make them so unique. Many of the current patterns used today were passed down through the Berber Tribe family lines dating back as early as 622AD. Authentic Berber rugs are woven with wool sheared from the sheep of the Atlas mountain range. Since many of these rugs are still handwoven by the tribal people, their traditions for collecting, dying, and weaving the wool remain untainted by modern manufacturing. However, with hundreds of years to hone their craft, these people still seek ways to naturally enhance the work of their ancestors. The Berber Tribe takes great pride in crafting beautiful tapestries for both the elite and the simple consumer.

A Beni Ourain rug features enduring looping techniques which keep the fabrics firmly interlocked and give the simple rugs an incredible durability with which today’s synthetics cannot hope to compete. This special loop design allows the trained eye to pinpoint the general region where the creator lived. Carpets with larger loops and looser knots can be traced to the mountain dwellers among the tribe. This particular weave was created with warmth and security in mind due to the volatile nature of mountainous climates. However, rugs with finer weaves, much like your typical compacted office-room carpet, were made as sleep mats.

The rich history of Beni Ourain rugs gives owners a rare insight into the lives of the makers. Typically, Moroccan rugs feature natural white and ivory tones. When dyes are introduced, they are often darker hues which were created entirely of natural materials. However, certain sects of the Berber Tribe possess differing views on this traditionalism. Members of the southern Moroccan region often trade in colored rugs, to suit a more diverse market. The diverse use of color enhanced their traditional patterns. However, in the authentic rugs, the dyes are still created using natural products such as indigo, saffron, wild mint, and pomegranate. A varying use of dye was not the Southerners’ only diversion from the traditional path. Often times these peoples mix their weaves to create entirely new textures. The added diversity in these textures gives the rugs more local versatility which helped make them even more beloved among patrons.

A Beni Ourain Rug is an aesthetically pleasing, functional investment that gives consumers an intricate historical glimpse into the cultural richness of the Moroccan people. Many of these pieces belong in museums or among art collections. Yet, here they lie, in our offices and homes. No wonder these humble, yet fashionable, works of art are still relevant in the year 2017. What a magnificent story each loop tells.

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