What You Should Know About Moroccan Rugs

Moroccan rugs have been hand-crafted for thousands of years. Originally used as blankets, decoration, saddles, and for burial, people are now using them to decorate their homes. The process of making a Moroccan rug is complex and takes a long time. Moroccan rugs hold their value and last forever if you know how to take care of them.

Using Moroccan Rugs in Your Interior Décor

Moroccan rugs fit a variety of decors because their style is very versatile. The colors on the rugs range from muted and neutral to bold and bright. The patterns on the rugs can be strict and defined, or they can be open and fluid. The rugs contrast with modern furniture or complement vintage pieces.

Origins

Moroccans originally designed their rugs for their environment. Those who lived in the mountains needed warm wraps, and those who lived in the desert made their rugs thin and light. The nomadic Berber tribes of Morocco are famous for their beautiful rugs. The Berbers told the history of their people in the beautiful designs on their rugs. Each rug meant something to the craftsman who made it and to the person who owned it.

Tribal Designs

There are many designs found in Moroccan carpets. The two most common are Zemmour and Zaiane

  • Older Zemmour designs tend to be less intricate, but the modern designs are more detailed and ornate
  • The Zaiane rugs have elaborate embroidery and lozenge shapes on them and always look old, as the Zaiane do not make them anymore. Any Zaiane rug that looks new is a fake. All original Zaiane rugs have an old worn-out appearance. 

Zemmour red rug

Other Moroccan rugs are “shaggy piles,” thick and comfortable under the feet and popular in the winter. These rugs use “live wool” taken from a sheep that is still alive. Two tribes specialize in “shaggy pile” rugs: the Beni Ouarain and Marmoucha. These carpets have a looser weave that makes them softer to the touch, much like carpets used on flooring in homes and apartments.

Materials in Your Rug

Moroccans craft their rugs with wool, cotton, or a combination of wool and modern synthetic material. You should know what kind of material is in your rug. To check to see which materials your rug has, you can use a cigarette lighter! Wool will not catch on fire, so if the carpet catches a flame, that will indicate the presence of synthetic materials. Berbers use vibrant colors in their rugs that they find in nature, usually from plants and flowers. Poppy flowers, saffron, and indigo are used to make red, orange, yellow, and blue dye. Authentic Berber carpets still use the natural dyes to color their rugs, even though new carpets use synthetic dyes.

Moroccan rugs are a beautiful addition to any home because they are versatile as well as authentic. Who wouldn’t want an original piece to show off in their home? Some specialty shops sell authentic Moroccan rugs, but it would be best to look online for Moroccan retailers who ship overseas to get the most reliable piece. With a little research, you can add some spice to your décor with an authentic Moroccan rug.

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