A Moroccan rug is a foolproof way of giving your space that sophisticated, worldly quality. Known for its soft texture and stunning patterns, this rug embodies luxury like no other investment piece in your home.
But how do you choose the right Moroccan rug for your home, and how can you check for authenticity? Here’s a guide to the origins of this wonderful rug as well as the different kinds of Moroccan rugs you’ll find in the market.
Popular types of traditional Moroccan rugs
Moroccan rugs are made by hand in select regions of the country, including High Atlas, Middle Atlas, Haouz, and Eastern Morocco. The look and feel of these rugs may vary with technique, material, colour, and symbolism based on their place of origin. Franklin Hobart offers an array of colourful and exquisite rugs to add warmth to your home or office.
- Azilal rugs – These rugs are made in the High Atlas Mountain of Morocco and are known for their vibrant colours and bold, intricate patterns. As some of the most sought after pieces from the kingdom, these wool rugs are single-knotted with a cream or light shade for a base (the natural colour of the wool used) then layered with brightly dyed wool to reflect the natural beauty of the region.
- Beni Ourain rugs – Skillfully made by the Beni Ourain peoples, who make up the 17 Berber tribes that are believed to have dwelt in the Atlas Mountains as far back as the 9th century AD, these plush, pile weave rugs are made from the un-dyed wool of an ancient breed of Beni Ourain sheep.
These rugs have characteristic cream colour and thin, crisscross black lines that form diamond patterns. Thick and comfortable, Beni Ourain rugs are perfect for those who want to create cozy, warm, yet sophisticated spaces.
- Beni Mguild rugs – The Beni Mguild tribe dwells in the middle Atlas Mountains. Their rugs are hand-woven and made with sheep’s wool. These rugs are coveted for their plush texture, sophisticated diamond and zigzag patterns, and rich blue, red, and green colours. Beni Mguild rugs make an amazing focal point in every space due to their eye-catching designs. They also provide comfort, as they were meant to offer added warmth in the winter.
- Boujad rugs – Hailing from the Haouz region, these rugs are known for gem-like shades of red, pink, and orange as well as geometric patterns with diamond and square shapes. Needless to say, these pieces are for the fearless decorator who wants to add some pizzazz to the space.
- Boucherouite rugs – These Berber rugs are a patchwork of different fabrics like cotton and wool, and which have been stitched together by hand to create a larger, colourful pattern. The result is every maximalist’s dream with irregular and eclectic composition that is truly unique. Once known as rag rugs, made with textile scraps and old clothes, Boucherite rugs have become a must-have item among interior decorators that appreciate their atypical and inimitable design.
- Kilim rugs – Moroccan Kilim rugs are flat weave, low pile rugs with distinctive patterns and designs. The techniques used to produce these sophisticated rugs originated in several places in the Middle East and Central Asia, which is why you’ll also find Turkish Kilim rugs in the market. Moroccan Kilim rugs have either bold geometric patterns or simpler, more neutral designs. Made of wool and cotton, these rugs are feathery soft and provide extra warmth.
Where and how to find authentic Moroccan rugs
There are several ways to find out if your Moroccan rug is authentic, including:
- Imperfections – Moroccan rugs are artisanal goods, and because they are traditionally woven by hand, expect imperfections in the design. You may find that the weave, knots, and stitching is slightly uneven in some places and that is to be expected.
- Texture and material – As mentioned previously, authentic Moroccan rugs are traditionally made from natural wool and cotton. This gives Berber rugs that soft, comforting texture. In some cases, artisans may use silk threads and beads to embellish their rugs. Mass-manufactured Moroccan-inspired rugs, by comparison, are often made with synthetic materials, or a blend of natural and synthetic fibres that don’t feel as luxurious as natural wool.
- Patterns and symbols – Moroccan rugs tell the histories, folklore, rituals, and prophecies of the communities that produce them. Keep an eye out for symbols and patterns that may be of significance to the tribe or region from which it originates. For example, the “bird” or cross shape is a symbol of good fortune while the scissors or crisscross design is meant to ward off evil.
Franklin Hobart offers an array of rugs and other bohemian pieces that can turn any space into a cozy retreat. Visit our store to browse our collection of Moroccan-style rugs and homewares.