As we enter the winter months, we thought we would share more about our wonderful and cosy Moroccan rug collection. Read on to discover the history of the rugs, our production process, styling and some inspiration for how they can work in your home.
HISTORY OF MOROCCAN BENI OURAIN RUGS
Morocco’s Middle and High Atlas Mountains serve as the birthplace for several tribes who were collectively known as the Berber. One group of Moroccan people comprising of seventeen different Berber tribes is, The Beni Ourain. Primarily, shepherds who have historically raised their livestock high in the mountains, moving with their herds from one graze land to the next - they are also known for their iconic rugs.
The Beni Ourain rugs are traditional carpets, hand-woven by the women of these Moroccan tribes, boasting patterns that symbolise fertility, survival, and the natural world. Originally the rugs were used for a variety of household functions including; bed coverings, sleeping mats, as well as for self-adornment, and burial shrouds. The materials are hand-selected; each rug takes weeks to make by a skilled Artisan, with tones ranging from extraordinarily vibrant to neutral, in either distinct patterns or more free-form designs. Any handwoven rug created by the Beni Ourain tribe is made from High quality 100% wool, guaranteeing a plush, luxurious pile that makes these rugs particularly resistant.
Traditional Beni Ourain tribal patterns can be traced back hundreds of years, some as far back as the Palaeolithic era. They are the most renowned Moroccan Berber rugs, often featuring the typical monochrome, diamond pattern. Because of the diversity of the seventeen different tribes that make up the Beni Ourain, there is a fascinating and subtle difference in the patterns and design elements present in the rugs and carpets that they produce. Their geometric, abstract designs can lend themselves to contemporary households, lying upon a stone or rustic wooden flooring as originally intended. In this post, we feature some of our favourites from our Beni Ourain Rug Collection.
OUR VERY OWN PRODUCTION OF MOROCCAN BENI OURAIN RUGS
Over the years we have worked hard to produce the highest quality of Berber rugs, unique to Lilla Rugs. We work closely with a team of weavers in the Atlas Mountains, who have now perfected a tighter, thicker and higher quality weave, that you wouldn't get in the markets in Morocco. The rugs stay in line with the traditional patterns and designs the tribes weave.
Once they have been made, knotted by hand in the Atlas Mountains, they get wrapped up safely and transported over to our warehouse at Lilla Rugs. They are carefully washed beforehand, though you can still expect minimal shed during the first year. The wool is so soft and special, unique to the area in which they are made.
Once they arrive with us, we quickly unwrap the bales, and lay them on flat, in piles. You can visit the warehouse and flick through the piles in person. You can feel their thickness and softness.
VARIETY IN DESIGN & COLOUR
Although the designs remain simple and classic, we still have a huge variety in the collection. This is in terms of colour and size too. The smallest Berber rug we have in only about 1 metre in length, and the largest is over 5 metres!
Another unique thing about the Berber rugs is that you can get a bespoke size and design made, in a reasonable timeframe. Many hand-knotted Persian rugs can take months or years to make, whereas Berber rugs can be knotted in weeks. The designs are more simple, the material and therefore knots are thicker.
HOW TO STYLE A MOROCCAN BERBER RUG
View our blog post all about styling Moroccan Berber rugs here. We, of course, love Moroccan Beni Ourain rugs! They add a surprising personality and touch of graphic glamour to a space. It’s no wonder these rugs have become so popular today - their style and uniqueness has spread far and wide across the globe, gaining attention from top designers and home decor stores. There is no interior magazine you can read without seeing a Moroccan carpet in it.
The beauty of the rugs is that they are timeless; we are continually amazed by how a canvas with such subtle patterns can say so much. They are so soft and warm, which makes them perfect for adding a little texture and making your interior feel cosy. Neutral colours and geometric decorations make them easy to fit in any home and adaptable to different styles, from Nordic interiors to more minimal homes.