Moroccan Rug Buying Guide

A traditional Moroccan rug can be made by any of the many Moroccans who follow a tradition of hand weaving fine-looking fabric. Some are made manually on looms, using thread, needle and yarns gathered from their own gardens, homes or even cattle yards. These rugs have intricate designs made by interlacing separate strands of fiber taken from grass or seeds, woven together into fascinating patterns. Other rugs may still be handmade, but their construction is automated and often done in a large factory where hundreds of rugs are simultaneously woven in one weaving room. A professional designer usually supervises the process and completes the task using high-end machinery.

Tuareg rug

Types of Moroccans rugs : There are many types of moroccan rugs available depending on the type of material used and the color combination that is desired. These rugs, mostly geometrically shaped, can be made flat, tubular or round and may have bright, pastel, floral or geometric designs. Wide variations of colors are also available. Usually, Moroccan rags come in neutral shades of brown and camel, although some dark brown, gold and purple colors are also used.

A comprehensive guide to moroccan tribal rugs: In looking at some of the more elaborate, expensive pieces available, such as those made from sheeps wool , it should be remembered that this textiles came into being after the mid-20th century when there was a great expansion in irrigation methods and textile production. These new technologies allowed for faster production of fabrics which were easier to make and with greater variations in color and patterns. The result was a massive surge in demand for this type of furniture, carpets and bedspreads. As the popularity of this new textile reached its peak during the mid-20th century, there was a move to refine this process and produce a more uniform, flat weave style. This meant that some mid-century moroccan rugs showed variations only in color and not in pattern or size.

Beni Ourain rugs: The Beni Ourain tribe is one of the oldest branches of the Moroccan tribes. Traditionally the men were not involved in the weaving process but women had the authority to decide when a carpet was complete and ready to wear. Many different tribes, mainly the Berbers, made rugs for their households and used them for everyday purposes. Collectors of moroccan rugs will often seek out tribal Beni Ourains to add a unique, historically significant and stylistically interesting touch to their collection.

Wawels: Wawels are long, slender strips woven on a looms with a raised panel. Wires were used to make the wavy pile that was characteristic of these primitive designs. A wafer-board was sometimes attached to the top of a wail to make the wavy edge even more intricate. Wares from the Beni Ourain tribe were commonly known as wawels. The modern wawel can be found today made of cotton or polyester with either plain or decorative printed patterns on either side. Most modern wawels still come from the Beni Ourain tribe.

Bedspread: Another detail that differs from the traditional moroccan rugs is the construction of the bedspread. Unlike the rugs that were woven on looms, most bedspreads were flat woven fabrics that were attached to pillows or on top of mattresses. The bedspread of yesteryear was much heavier and thicker than the modern versions. It would be no wonder that they were also much harder to make.

Berber Rugs: While the typical moroccan rug is usually white or black, there are other colors available for purchase. These colors are usually more muted and not as bright as the traditional colors. One can find rugs in all sizes and in many styles ranging from the very thick, burlap like to the wavy woven mats.

Tribal Rugs : Just as the name indicates, tribal rugs come from the ancient tribes of Morocco. They are unique and different than any other type of moroccan artwork. They tend to be made by one of three artists who specialize in their own style and weave their own patterns. Usually the patterns are floral and include animal skin, plant fiber, or both