Moroccan Berber rugs will undoubtedly provide a stunning touch of elegance to your house. But in reality, a lot of real antique rugs were made out of domestic necessity and served as durable useful things for modest homes. Moroccan rugs come in a wide range of designs, fibers, and weaves, and the truly authentic ones—as opposed to "vintage-field" pieces made for western tastes—will retain the character of the region and the people who skillfully made them for their own use, complete with intriguing variations and flaws.
Of Communities and Peoples
The Berber peoples of Morocco were geographically dispersed and organized by tribe and sub-tribe, but having many things in common (such as a language and common cultural origins). Many Berber tribes fought Arab invasions of Morocco in the 11th century and fled to the Atlas Mountains and other isolated rural areas.
The rugs they wove were for use in these rural, frequently nomadic populations; in contrast, the more urbanized Arab communities produced sophisticated, ornate works that were more akin to Persian or Turkish carpets. Away from these influences, Berber tribes created extremely individualized rugs out of the limited materials at their disposal. These are strong, distinctive rugs that weren't initially woven with open market sales in mind.
"Color Is All"
Genuine Berber home rural weaving shared the vivid use of color as a unifying characteristic. Rugs sung with color, aside from the gentle, neutral cream and brown Beni Ouarain rugs and the pure, unadulterated kilims and blankets made by some tribes in white, brown, cream, and grey. To create handwoven textiles for daily use, women carefully selected their own colors, frequently ones associated with their tribal conventions or local customs.
The washed-out peach, pink, and ochre hues that are now frequently seen are, for the most part, a reaction to current tastes. These rugs are made for commercial manufacturing and were treated and faded to appear antique. Real antique rugs are more likely to be straightforward, imperfect carpets that have been colored to give them character.
The Science of Utility
One of the very reasonable requests we receive is for rugs to be square in shape to meet the dimensions of contemporary rooms. Many carpets were made to accommodate long and narrow Berber homes and tents, despite the fact that some Berber tribes did make rugs that were comparatively square. The oldest enormous rugs, from the biggest traditional Berber households, are especially long and thin.
When Berber women did weave square rugs, they may have been smaller pieces that were convenient for moving around, for sitting on while working, and to guard larger and more priceless rugs. What we now refer to as a runner may have actually been made to cover a long, thin Berber sofa to protect it and make it soft and comfortable!
The use of old rugs in these homes will be evident in their appearance. Frequently, the center of the rug at each end will show signs of wear from being taken up and folded in half to serve as a seat. Alternatively, where hot coals or hot fat spilled during cooking and eating, there will be repairs and patches. Many carpets still include minute traces of candle wax or fat from delectable foods entrenched within the knotted pile. Where the family and visitors sat or slept on an old rug, one region may be significantly more faded and worn than another. Rugs developed from daily life.
The Influence of Women
Berber rugs came from a feminine culture that was formed less by formal or religious traditions and more by pre-Islamic ideas in magic and otherworldliness. The carpets we source will be the rugs that will tell a story about this previous life because they were highly intimate and met family requirements. However, we are aware that because each item was so unique, the precise meanings contained inside might not be fully known to us. Genuine antique domestic rugs were woven with the utmost freedom and true creative spirit because their designs often drew on the weaver's hazy memory of the significance of symbols or tribal tales.
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