Traditional Berber rugs were made by Beni Ourain tribes. They lived deep in Morocco’s Atlas Mountains. The Atlas Mountains are in the exact region where special sheep can be found. These smaller sheep are an ancient breed. They produce the excellent high quality wool that makes Beni Ourain rugs so special.
Beni Ourain rugs are made from 100% natural ivory sheep wool and are 100% undyed. It’s the wool that covers the sheep’s body. At first glance, the pattern may look black, but actually it’s a very dark brown color. The deep brown wool is from the sheep’s head. Beni Ourain rugs are considered the most prestigious in all of Morocco. They are made from what is considered among the finest wool on earth.
These heirloom rugs are made for those who appreciate truly the natural world. They are the epitome of warmth and luxury.
All Beni Ourain rugs share a signature style with geometric designs. It’s a classic design for any room. You can expect to see dark brown lines and shapes on a white or cream background. You’ll also see symbols. They tell true stories from each weaver’s life.
Beni Ourain rugs connect the long history of the nomadic Berber tribes with modern day interiors. Bring a genuine piece of Morocco heritage into your home.
The lives of their makers are all part of the process. Women usually weave these rugs. They creatively infuse elements from their lives into the designs.
The process of making a Berber rug
This unique process starts with procuring the wool. The wool from the sheep must be cleaned and scoured. Otherwise, it contains natural oils.
The wool is then hand spun. This spinning process transforms the wool. It twists fibers together and makes yarn. The wool is spun into threads that are perfect for weaving. The loom and warp are then prepared.
The next part of the rug making process is knotting. This is where you can see the true talents of the craftspeople. The rugs are woven with a little weft between the knots. Why? It creates a rug that’s truly dense.
Before the rug is complete, the pattern is dyed with natural dyes. It is then cut from the loom and trimmed. The pile is trimmed using special scissors. This is done to ensure the pile length is standard in size.
During the months of knotting, the original wool gets dirty. It also gets hard from being attached to the loom. That is why the rugs are washed and dried at least once again.
Hand-woven Beni Ourain rugs take a great deal of skill. The knowledge is passed down from mother to daughter. You will see amazing design elements. Many are reflective of the weaver’s real life. Themes emerge in Beni Ourain rugs such as birth, fertility, nature, femininity, rural life and religious beliefs. Some even believe they are barriers against evil spirits. That’s why symbols of lucky charms and from tribe ceremonies are often present.