Loading... Please wait...

Blog

Historical Uses of the Moroccan Beni Ourain Rug

Posted by

Berber rugsMoroccan rugs are highly sought after gems in the Western world. Their beauty and intricacy attract admirers who may not be aware of their historical backdrop. One unique style of rug is the Moroccan Berber rug, also known as the Beni Ourain rug, made by the members of the Berber tribes. 

Morocco sits on the coast of Northwest Africa and houses the famous Sahara desert. The Berbers live in various areas of Northwest Africa, including Egypt, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya, Mauritania, Mali, Niger and Morocco. Rugs that are woven by the various tribes of Morocco date back to the Paleolithic era, and their designs had specific cultural meanings.


It wasn't until the early 20th century when Western designers adopted Berber rugs as fashionable accents to various pieces of furniture.

Berber rugs are known for their less ornate, often called primitive designs. Mostly varying shades of white, the basic, but expressive pattern designs are colored using natural dyes. Many of the rugs are black and white, but they can also be found with an array of colors. They may have repeating patterns of diamonds, overlapping straight lines or maybe even zigzags, squares and stars.

Original Beni Ourain rugs are also popular for their quality thanks to one of the Berber specialties: the looped pattern. The thickness of a loop pile carpet can attribute to more durability than a standard cut-pile carpet. Loops are also left in their original pattern form, and the original Berbers are woven from un-dyed sheep's wool.
The loop style contributes to durability as well as quality. Mass produced rugs, which may be emblems of beauty and fashion on the one hand may not be made with quality in mind. For instance, the most common materials used for their production include synthetic fibers like nylon, polyurethane and polyester. These materials don't have a history of representing quality and durability. 


Berber rugs are made from organic materials like sheep's wool and colored with natural dyes, such as indigo and saffron.

These rugs were initially woven for practical use, such as blankets to cut the chilly temperatures of the Rif or Atlas mountains. In fact, you may recognize a distinctive thickness of the Beni Ourain rug, directly correlating with the need for warmth in the cold mountainous region.

The rugs were also used to sleep on and even used as articles of clothing. Additionally, the Beni Ourain people used the rugs to pay respect to the deceased through a process called shrouding. This involved wrapping the body in the rug to prepare for burial.

Contemporary uses of Beni Ourain rugs are mostly limited to home decor. Their discreet, soft tones and designs make them easy to integrate with most, if not all, home decor. From a chic to neutral, traditional or contemporary, a Berber fits right in.

They can be found in small, medium and large, which means you can have a rug for every room!

On a final note, one might have reservations when it comes to the price of a high quality rug or carpet like a Berber rug. However, they can be found at reasonable prices. Just be wary of lower quality versions that may have semblance to the original Berbers but don't hold a candle to the quality of an original.

The Handcrafted Beni Ourain Rug

Shopping For Your Berber Rug There are so many kinds of rugs on the market nowadays. Shopping for a rug can be pretty intimidating due to the sheer volume of options available. If you're currently on the lookout for a brand new rug, you may feel just a little anxiety about the whole shopping process. There's [...]

Read More »


The Timeless Beni Ourain Rug

When it comes to decor, trends come and go. What works one year may not be in style the next. This is why so many people look for items that are truly timeless. Such is the case with the Beni Ourain rug. These rugs are made in Morocco from skilled crafts people. They aim for a [...]

Read More »


The Statement Rug - The Beni Ourain Makes An Impact

There are so many ways to design a living space. The many different choices can be more than a little stressful at times. People can go for all different styles of floor coverings. They can look into their choices in materials, colours, patterns, designs and beyond. If the idea of spending forever searching for a [...]

Read More »


Using A Beni Ourain Rug In a Contemporary Interior

A contemporary home is one that is modern and yet classic at the same time. Contemporary home design is one that also draws upon a modern understanding of how space is used but also pays close attention to traditional use of space. One of the most important elements in any interior design plan is the [...]

Read More »


A Beni Ourain Rug Can Bring A Unique Sense of Style to Any Home

Beni Ourain rugs are big players in interior design throughout the world. If the idea of a Berber tribal rug in your home seemed fascinating in the past, it's now practically an inevitability. People who are updated in the latest developments in the interior design community have been gushing over these floor coverings for a [...]

Read More »


The Fascinating History of the Berber Rug

A Berber rug is a type of textile created by those belonging to local Moroccan tribes on the continent of Africa. Such rugs were made since the Paleolithic era by various individuals, and have endured the test of time throughout the centuries. The type of Beni Ourian rug created by members of Moroccan tribes is now [...]

Read More »


From The Atlas Mountains - The Moroccan Berber Rug

Deep in Morocco’s Atlas Mountains resides the Beni Ourain Tribe who hand weave beautiful one-of-a-kind rugs. They are a nomadic tribe, moving from one part of the mountains to another. The Beni Ourain tribe are a people of North Africa who settled in Morocco before the 7th century. There are 17 different Berber tribes that [...]

Read More »


The Classic Rug Making Technique For Berber Rugs

Age old craft is always in style. Classic techniques will always be admired and always have value no matter the day or time. This is true of many objects. One such item is a rug for the home. Rugs have long been a staple for those who cherish quality and adore well crafted things. A [...]

Read More »


Beni Ourain Rugs: Tough, Intriguing and Striking

It can be hard to avoid Moroccan Berber rugs in this day and age. They're incredibly popular in all kinds of settings. You may have a couple of friends who have them in their homes, or you may even have seen them in chic and contemporary magazines. People aren't investing in these floor coverings without [...]

Read More »



Sign up for our newsletter