Moroccan rugs, also known as Beni Ourain rugs, are a type of handmade wool rug that originate from the Atlas Mountains in Morocco. These rugs are known for their unique and intricate designs, as well as their high-quality craftsmanship. They have gained popularity in recent years as trendy home decor items and are often used to add a bohemian or global touch to a room. In this blog, we will delve into the history, design, and care of Moroccan rugs, as well as provide tips on how to incorporate them into your home decor.
The History of Moroccan Rugs
Moroccan rugs have a long and rich history dating back centuries. They were originally made by the Berber people, who are indigenous to the Atlas Mountains region of Morocco. The Berbers have a strong cultural tradition of weaving and have been creating handmade rugs for centuries.
The design of Moroccan rugs is heavily influenced by the Berber culture and the environment in which they live; hence the rugs often feature geometric patterns and symbols that have cultural significance to the Berber people. For example, the diamond shape is a common motif in Moroccan rugs and is believed to represent the eye and serve as a protective symbol.
In the past, Moroccan rugs were primarily made for practical purposes, such as to keep warm in the cold mountain winters or to mark the boundaries of a tent. However, in recent years, they have gained popularity as decorative items and are now often used as statement pieces in home decor.
Design and Style of Moroccan Rugs
One of the most striking features of Moroccan rugs is their unique and detailed designs. The patterns on these rugs are created using a technique called knotting, in which the wool is looped around itself to create the intricate pattern. This technique allows for a high level of detail and complexity in the patterns and results in a rug that is both visually striking and durable.
The patterns and designs found on Moroccan rugs are often inspired by the natural environment and the cultural traditions of the Berber people. Common motifs include geometric shapes, diamonds, and other abstract designs. The color palette of a Moroccan rug is typically neutral, with shades of white, cream, and beige being the most common. However, some rugs may feature pops of color, such as red or blue, to add interest to the design.
In terms of style, Moroccan rugs are often associated with bohemian or global decor styles. They can add a touch of whimsy and uniqueness to a room and can be used to create a cozy and welcoming atmosphere. These rugs can be used in a variety of settings, from living rooms and bedrooms to outdoor spaces and even as wall hangings.
Caring for Moroccan Rugs
As with any wool rug, Moroccan rugs require proper care and maintenance to keep them in good condition. Here are some tips for caring for your Moroccan rug:
Vacuum regularly. To remove dirt and debris from the surface of the rug, it is important to vacuum it regularly. Be sure to use the gentle setting on your vacuum to avoid damaging the fibers.
Spot clean. If you spill something on your Moroccan rug, it is important to act quickly to remove the stain. Use a clean, damp cloth to blot the stain, and avoid rubbing the stain, as this can cause it to spread. If the stain is particularly stubborn, you may need to use a mild cleaning solution.
Protect from direct sunlight. Moroccan rugs are made from wool, which is sensitive to UV light. To prevent fading and discoloration, it is important to keep them out of direct sunlight or use window treatments to reduce light exposure.
Rotate your rug regularly. Moroccan rugs can become worn in certain areas if they are walked on repeatedly in the same spot. You can prevent this by rotating your rug every few months to distribute wear more evenly.
Professional cleaning. If your rug becomes particularly dirty or stained, it may be necessary to have it professionally cleaned. Be sure to find a reputable rug cleaning company like Doris Leslie Blau that has experience cleaning Moroccan rugs.
Feel free to call us at 212-586-5511 with any questions you have. One of our dedicated rug specialists will be happy to assist you.
Types of Moroccan Rugs
Moroccan rugs range from graphically dense to monochrome, combining bright, saturated shades with natural, muted tones. The dynamic, gestural shapes that are reminiscent of contemporary paintings belie the tedious, time-intensive process required to make them. Each rug reflects the unique flavor of the different Berber tribes. Their exceptional flair is enhanced by the climate and materials available in the region.
To understand what makes Moroccan rugs so unique, let’s examine the most popular weaving traditions, including Azilal, Beni Mguild, Beni Ourain, Boucherouite, Kilim, and Tuareg.
Azilal rugs are made by hand in the rural areas of Morocco using natural dyes and traditional weaving techniques. In fact, many families have been creating these rugs for generations, passing down their knowledge from one generation to the next. These artisans utilize wool from local sheep as well as undyed cotton or silk thread to create beautiful patterns and colors. As such, each rug is truly unique and can never be replicated exactly.
The Weaving Process. Azilal rugs are made with a variety of weaving techniques that make them truly one-of-a-kind pieces. The weavers start by spinning wool into yarn on a drop spindle or distaff before dyeing it with natural dyes extracted from plants found in the Atlas Mountains. Once dyed, the yarn is woven into the rug’s design on a loom—a complicated process that can take up to several months to complete, given its size and detail. From there, it is combed out to remove any excess fibers before being trimmed to its finished size.
Designs & Patterns. Azilal rugs feature traditional geometric patterns that are usually created in bold colors like red, blue, yellow, green, and black. The overall look is reminiscent of a patchwork quilt with intricate details that draw the eye to every corner of the rug. Despite being hundreds—and sometimes thousands—of years old, these designs still remain relevant today as they fit into almost any decor style.
Durability. Azilal rugs are incredibly durable due to the high-quality materials used in their construction. They can last for decades—even centuries—with proper care and maintenance.
Beni Mguild Rugs
Beni Mguild rugs are some of the most sought-after carpets in the world. Originating from the villages of the Middle Atlas Mountains in Morocco, they are a traditional symbol of Berber culture and have been produced since ancient times. These stunningly unique and vibrant rugs are hand-woven with natural wool, making them both beautiful and durable.
Construction and Design. Beni Mguild rugs are typically made from 100% wool, which is dyed after using natural dyes extracted from plants and minerals found in Morocco’s mountainside regions. The wool is then woven into elaborate patterns that result in a beautiful piece that can last for decades.
Beni Mguild rugs have a distinct design that sets them apart from other carpets. They feature intricate geometric patterns, often with diamond shapes and multiple borders, which represent the values of Berber culture: creativity, resilience, beauty, and strength. The colors used to create these designs range from bold reds to muted blues to bright yellows—all of which reflect the natural hues found in Morocco’s mountains and deserts.
Durability. A Beni Mguild rug is made with natural wool that is woven by hand; this means that it is incredibly strong and built to last. As opposed to synthetic or machine-made carpets, this type will not wear easily over time. It is resistant to dirt and dust, meaning it will look as beautiful for years to come as it did when you first purchased it.
The Beni Ourain tribe has been making these magnificent rugs since ancient times. It is believed that they first began weaving them as a way to protect their homes from cold winter temperatures and offer a soft place to sit or sleep during the day. As time went on, however, they began incorporating more complex designs into their work, creating beautiful pieces of art.
Design Elements. Beni Ourain rugs are made from natural fibers such as sheep’s wool and camel hair, which gives them a unique texture and feel. These Moroccan rugs feature an array of geometric shapes and patterns that are traditionally black and white. In contrast, modern versions may include colors like red, blue, or green. Each rug is truly one-of-a-kind since each design is painstakingly crafted by hand using traditional techniques passed down through generations.
The Popularity of Beni Ourain Rugs. In recent years, there has been a surge in popularity for these types of rugs due to their ability to add an air of sophistication and comfort to any room or space. They can quickly transform a room from drab to fab with just one piece! With their neutral color palette, they can fit into almost any decor style – from traditional to contemporary – making them extremely versatile pieces for designers and homeowners alike.
Boucherouite rugs were first created by rural women in Morocco as an alternative to traditional wool or silk carpets. Rather than using natural fibers, these women would use whatever fabric they had at hand—old clothes, synthetic yarns, t-shirts, etc.—to craft their unique designs. The name “boucherouite” comes from the French word ‘boucher’ which means ‘rag’ or ‘scrap.’
Style & Design. Boucherouite rugs are often characterized by their bold colors and highly detailed designs; some feature geometric shapes, while others are more abstract or floral in nature. This makes them an excellent choice for both modern and traditional interior styles. They come in various sizes, so there’s something to fit any space—from small accent pieces to larger statement items. No two Boucherouite rugs are exactly alike; each one is unique in its own way.
When it comes to incorporating Boucherouite rugs into your home decor, there really is no right or wrong way to do it. These pieces are incredibly versatile and can be used anywhere you use a traditional rug – living rooms, entryways, bedrooms, etc. – but they also work beautifully when used in more unexpected places such as bathrooms or kitchens. The bright colors will add life to any space, while the intricate patterns will create a visual interest that will draw attention away from any flaws in the room’s layout.
Kilim rugs are an ancient form of rug-making that have been crafted for hundreds of years by nomadic tribes in the Middle East and Central Asia. These rugs combine traditional craftsmanship with modern aesthetic to create beautiful and unique pieces that can instantly add a touch of personality to any room.
Surface Design and Patterning. The beauty of kilim rugs lies not just in their craftsmanship, but also in their color and design. Kilims come in a wide range of colors, from bright and vibrant hues to more muted tones. They feature intricate patterns that reflect the culture and history of the people who make them. Many designs include symbols such as crosses or stars, or even animals like camels or horses—allowing you to bring a bit of culture into your home decor.
Durable Quality. Apart from their beauty, kilim rugs are also incredibly durable due to their tightly woven construction techniques. This means that with proper care, your kilim rug can last for decades—making it an excellent investment for any homeowner looking to add a timeless piece to their decor. On top of that, these rugs require very little maintenance; they don’t need to be vacuumed regularly like other types of carpets and can simply be spot cleaned when necessary.
Tuareg rugs are traditional handmade carpets produced for centuries by the Berber nomadic people of the Sahara Desert. These works of art have been created with a unique combination of cultural symbols and bold geometric patterns, allowing them to stand out from the crowd of conventional rug designs. Typically made from wool, they are known for their durability and comfort, making them ideal additions to any home.
Designs and Colors. Tuareg rugs feature intricate geometric designs composed of diamonds, squares, stars, and other shapes formed into repeating patterns or rows. The colors used in these designs range from soothing pastels to vibrant jewel tones that can add an unexpected pop of vibrancy to any room in your home. While there is some variation between different styles of Tuareg rugs, each piece typically features a central motif surrounded by other smaller details that help bring each design together into a cohesive whole.
Durability. Tuareg rugs are renowned for their durability due to their construction materials; they are usually made from high-quality wool sourced directly from local sheep farms in North Africa or imported from other countries like India or China. Wool is highly resilient and can withstand heavy foot traffic without sacrificing its quality or appearance over time making it a perfect choice for busy households.
Purchasing Moroccan Rug
Considering rich history and cultural significance of Moroccan rugs, they are a true work of art and unique addition to any home. If you’re interested in purchasing one, there are a few things to consider. First, be sure to choose a reputable seller to ensure that you are getting a high-quality, authentic rug. Moroccan rugs are traditionally made with wool, but you can also find ones made with cotton, silk, or a combination of materials. It’s important to choose a rug that is made with materials that are durable and will hold up over time.
You should also consider the size and style of the rug to ensure that it fits in with your decor and meets your needs. Moroccan rugs come in a wide range of sizes, from small throw rugs to large area rugs. Consider the size of the room where the rug will be placed and choose a size that will fit well in the space. As for style, think about the overall aesthetic of the room and pick a rug that will complement it.
Finally, be prepared to pay a higher price for a Moroccan rug, as they are often more expensive than other types of rugs due to their labor-intensive production process and high demand.
Moroccan Rugs at Doris Leslie Blau
Doris Leslie Blau has been in business for over 50 years and has a reputation for offering some of the finest antique and vintage rugs on the market. All of our rugs are carefully selected and inspected by expert staff to ensure that they meet the highest standards of quality and authenticity.
At Doris Leslie Blau, you’ll find a wide selection of Moroccan rugs in a range of sizes, styles, and price points. Our expert team is happy to help you find the perfect rug for your home, whether you’re looking for a timeless traditional or sophisticated modern design.
So why wait? Start shopping for your dream Moroccan rug today at Doris Leslie Blau. With our wide selection, expert staff, and commitment to quality, you can trust that you’ll find the perfect rug for your home!
Feel free to call us at 212-586-5511 with any questions you have. One of our dedicated rug specialists will be happy to assist you.