Berber rugs are growing in popularity around the globe as more and more people begin to learn about the benefits that these traditional masterpieces provide. There’s nothing quite like the look and feel of a true hand-woven rug, and those made by Moroccan Berber tribes are often considered amongst the finest hand-made rugs money can buy.
History of Berber Rugs
The Berber tribes of Morocco and north Africa have been perfecting their carpet and rug making skills for thousands of years, using handspun fabrics and natural dyes to create an amazing array of different styles. These carpets always have been, and generally still continue to be, made solely by women, with the skills and techniques being passed down from generation to generation.
Although you can now find these rugs in a wide range of different colors, styles and fabrics, a true Berber rug is only made of wool from either a sheep or camel. As well, an authentic Moroccan Berber rug must be woven by hand and colored using only dyes derived from natural materials, such as henna for red, mint for green, saffron for yellow and indigo for blue. All of these factors are part of what separates these rugs from cheap modern imitations, as there’s simply no way to replace the quality that comes with using natural materials and painstakingly doing all the work by hand.
Types of Berber Rugs
There are generally two main styles of Berber carpets, Flatweave and Pile knot. The difference between the two is in the way they’re woven.
Flatweave rugs use what most would consider a more traditional weaving pattern, similar to the method you’d likely try to use if someone told you to weave a rug.
The more common type is the pile knot rug, which is created by tying knots of wool into rows and then weaving these rows together. This generally results in a much thicker, softer carpet, as well as a more expensive one due to the extra labor involved.
Benefits of Decorating with a Moroccan Berber Rug
Most people are hooked the moment they lay eyes of a beautiful Berber rug, partly because the natural dyes result in incredibly rich, deep colors. As well, the rugs are available in a huge range of patterns ranging from traditional Berber designs to something much more modern in style, meaning it’s easy to find one that matches your taste and your existing decor.
Still, the one thing that all of them have in common is their outstanding quality and durability. The natural wools, especially camel wool, result in a soft, plush carpet that’s great for sitting, standing and sleeping on. At the same time, the fact that they’re hand woven also makes them incredibly strong and durable. In fact, it’s not uncommon to find Moroccan families still using rugs made over 100 years ago, meaning they’ll definitely last as long as you take care of them properly.
The truth is that there’s a reason that the Berber people are so famous for their rugs, which you’ll immediately begin to understand as soon as you have one in the home.