The rugs are woven by tribal residents – the Berbers, have a high fleece, thick coiled yarn of good quality and medium density of weaving. Carpets of Morocco are valued for their durability, simplicity of design and quality of workmanship. The wool is usually of a natural color, designs and patterns have an oriental character. Along with the carpets from Egypt and Tunisia, the ones from Morocco belong to North African groups of fabrics. Morocco’s tradition of carpet weaving is almost 300 years old.
We all know the story of the flying carpet, and although it does not come from Morocco, we can obtain truly magical carpets in this country. Those unique, traditional handicrafts are reasons of the people’s of the Middle Atlas pride. Carpet weaving is one of the oldest traditional crafts in Morocco. A Moroccan carpet is a very colorful and interesting souvenir, an item to be collected and sometimes a real work of art. Every tourist in Morocco is surprised with their colorfulness and diversity – from thin rugs, the woven bedspreads and decorative patio carpets, to the thick carpets perfect for home use.
Each of the Moroccan carpets is subjected to quality control and receives a special label: a blue one – when it has the highest quality, yellow or orange – for the good ones, and green – when the product is of average quality. Berber rugs from the Middle Atlas, called hanbels, are considered the most interesting. Even though they are available at all major fairs in the country, you might want to choose places like Midelity, where a cooperative of weaving is located. This kind of items include carpets hand-woven by generations of women, from grandmas to their granddaughters. It takes many hours of hard work to make a carpet, so their prices can be extremely high.
Most of the Moroccan rugs have bright harmonious colors and bold geometric, vegetable or animal patterns. The background of a carpet is often red. This color is derived from a vegetable lled madder root or an extract from the insect Dactylopius coccus. The longhaired carpets softly bend under one’s feet. The Intertwined rugs, woven from wool or cotton mixed with velor are much thinner but equally strong. There are also elegant and slightly shiny rugs made of Sabry or silk plant (derived from agave fibers).
What is intresting, the Berber rugs are woven on both sides. One side serves the residents of the house in the summer, and the other side in the winter. The rugs are popular not only among tourists from all over the world but also – and above all – among the inhabitants of Marrakech. They are the pride of private flats and floors in Riadach. Rugs are not only spread onto the floor, but are also hung on walls or placed as a covering for the sofas. The rugs are used during important religious ceremonies too, especially at weddings and funerals.
The bride is often covered with a carpet on her way to the groom’s house after the wedding ceremony to be blessed at her future home. During the funeral, a carpet of a unique pattern covers the coffin during its transportation from the temple to the cemetery. These rituals are associated with the magical meaning of the symbols woven on carpets. Snakes, crosses, diamonds, eyes, etc. are intended to dispose of the fateful spells of the ‘evil eye”.
In various regions of Morocco you can find different kinds of carpets which became characteristic products of the residents of the area. If you want to obtain a unique souvenir from this part of the world, take a look at the following list:
– Carpets from Rabat and the surrouniding areas are among the most popular in Morocco. They are characterized by seven colors and seven types of patterns. These carpets are covered with drawings that possess magical significance. Their origin is not fully known. There is a legend telling how the stork flying from the east dropped a small piece of carpet on the ground. Women who discovered it immediately finished the rest of the carpet repeating the first stands and patterns in subsequent production.
– Carpets of Ouaouzguit Ait have been made by generations of the people of Taznaght, located on the hills of the High Atlas. These ones are woven from sheep’s wool, decorated with the most geometric designs and a rich palette of colors.
– Carpets of Glaoui and the surrounding areas are extremely thin and characterized by loops and knotted woven stripes arranged in a window system.
– Bousbaa-Chichaoua carpets mainly come from the city Chichaoua (a few kilometers from Marrakech). The specificity of their style is a blend of wool and goat hair.
– Background carpets from Taznakht are usually yellow and often appear on geometric patterns which can be red, dark green and white.
– Equally beautiful and original types of carpets can be found in cities Zemmour and Beni Ouarain. The latter is famous for plain and diachromatic rugs woven from undyed natural wool and traditionally decorated with brown, grey or black geometric designs.
Morocco has always been known for weaving. With the ethnic diversity of its inhabitants, every carpet created in a given region of the country has its own unique character. Morocco has now become one of the world leaders in the field of tapestry. Oriental rugs successfully warm up interiors mainly because of their ethnic colors. Crafts like rugs and original furniture are essential components of modern interiors. What is more, those magic carpets are miraculously able to bring back memories of your stay in the sunny Morocco. Just prepare a glass of mint tea, sit on the carpet and close your eyes to move to the fragrant land of the High Atlas Mountains.