Flip through interior magazines and you will see fashionable homes featuring magnificent Moroccan rugs that are displayed lovingly on floors of both contemporary and traditional residences. Thousands of people are attracted to the Moroccan rug because of its striking patterns and wonderful colours that often clash but co-exist nicely on these beautiful items and the extraordinary amount of creativity & work that has so obviously been put into each individual rug. In this article we are going to tell the story of the four Berber rugs: Kilim, Boucherouite, Beni Ourain and Azilal.
Morocco is a multi-ethnic society, but very homogeneous and which have lived in harmony for decades. Berbers who are the first inhabitants of Morocco constitute a big part of the population.
Then, the Arabs, come from Andalusia, from the east and from other Arabic communities to the world. Demographically, the majority of Berbers live in tribal villages in the rural Atlas Mountains tribes, without forgetting the nomads whom we find frequently in the South.
Being a nomadic culture, Berbers are very adaptable and pragmatic to overcoming the difficulties of the rural life, but adhere largely to a social structure that has existed for time immemorial, where the man works the land and the women work at home near to the children. It is often the men who have shepherded the sheep and bring wool home for the women to then craft that into rugs.
While the nomadic Berbers of the hot desert and Berber tribes of the harsh and cold mountains lived in opposing climates, they both developed the magical tradition of rug making through necessity. In the colder Atlas regions rugs were made to provide warmth and comfort while in the desert regions women made light flat-woven rugs and mats to serve as barrier from the heat and to provide a comfortable resting place. All of the tribes created blankets and bags as saddles to make more comfortable rides on their camels and donkeys, while lighter rugs were wrapped around their shoulders as a cape or shawl, and other practical uses included being burial shrouds, sleeping mats and tent dividers.
The word “Kilim” comes from the word “AL KALAM” it means the speech in Arabic. While most of the Amazighs women are shy to express their emotions and their feelings aloud, over time The Kilim carpet has become a way for them to express their innermost feelings. That’s why most of the patterns on the Kilim rug are hard to explain sometimes, because each pattern is a very personal story. Kilim rugs are flat woven because they look thin and are not soft, compared to other woollen rugs. Moreover, this type of rug has no pile; it only has colours and design. A remarkable thing about the Kilim rug is that it is suitable for a wide range of decor. We can use it both indoors and outdoors as a rug for hot weather.
The Azilal rug comes from small villages in the Azilal region of the middle Atlas mountains. This patterned Berber rug is of a very special knotting quality, full of Berber design and colours, inspired from nature, daily life on the farm and child rearing. Often you can see the mood of the creator clearly emanating from the rug.
The Boucherouite rug literally means “rag tips rug”. The socio-economic changes of the last 50 years have meant that the raw materials for rug making has come harder to source, and so the ever pragmatic and resourceful Berber people started to experiment with other materials they had to hand. As they use recycled materials, they are considered eco-friendly rugs. They are popular because of their bright colours and elegance, sometimes even gold or silver threads. This woolly rug will suit for any area of the home, including in the children’s rooms, kitchens or bathrooms. The Boucherouite rug is distinctive and unique.
The Atlas Mountains of Morocco are the homeland of the Beni Ourain rug. It was originally used as a warm blanket or cape, giving protection from the cold winters of the Moroccan Atlas Mountains. A simple abstract geometric motif, hand knotted from pure wool are the characteristics of The Moroccan woollen rug. We think the vintage Beni Ourain rug possess real character and spirit. It’s an expression of the daily life of the woman who made it. The wool can have some differences in tone depending the wool colour of the sheep but is generally cream. Snow white vintage Beni Ourain rugs do not exist.
A Moroccan rug is the best way to enrich a room and provide the best kind of atmosphere and ambiance. The soft texture of a Moroccan floor rug gives emits warmth & comfort. while its awesome colours range from perfect shade of buttery white to electric hues giving your home the atmosphere and aura of a palace.
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