The Berber rug is an essential decorative object. Today it is increasingly prevalent with interior designers across the Atlantic, Scandinavian, and Eastern Europe.
Among these Berber rugs, the Beni Ouarain rug is very famous. If the name means nothing to you, you will recognize this chic and minimalist rug at first glance. The Beni Ouarain rug made many appearances in decoration magazines, TV reports, and on the Instagram accounts of the most fashionable Lifestyle bloggers.
Beni Ouarain does not only refer to the carpet. It is also a region of the Middle Atlas in the North East of Morocco. 17 tribes compose the Beni Ouarain's ethnic group.
The region of Beni Ouarain has little contact with the outside world. The inhabitants, here, lived a lifestyle of self-sufficiency.
The Beni Ouarain residents have a strong relationship with their Berber culture and traditions. Even today, the tribes live on the economic model of bartering during weekly souks. The head of the family comes to sell the farming products and the handcrafts.
The Beni Ouarain environment experiences a cold and harsh climate for much of the year. As a result, these tribes have always made carpets of giant sizes that serve as ground covers.
Today, the weavers have adapted their production to more modest sizes. The reason is to meet the demand of the international market.
In this region, the weaver occupies a central place in tribal life. It is the only source of income for some families. Also, carpet weaving gives women pride and dignity in a patriarchal society.
One of the Berber signs that you find on the Beni Ouarain rug is the diamond. It represents fertility and motherhood. Nowadays, the Berber carpet adopts new abstract geometric shapes.
From generation to generation, the Beni Ouarain weavers have transmitted their know-how.
The Beni Ouarain families are, mainly, shepherds. They shear the wool of their livestock with scissors once the climate warms up in the spring.
The sheep of the region have black and brown wool on their heads. Each shorn sheep provides more or less 3 kg of wool. The amount is equal to one square meter of the finished carpet.
Once the wool is ready to be worked, the weavers spin it. The process is decisive in assessing the quality of the fiber.
The spinning process involves mixing short, silky, and fragile threads with long, rougher, and more solid ones.
The dimensions of the carpet, its thickness, and the density of the knots define its price. A soft fluffy rug is more valuable in the market.
Berber women show unusual patience in making a rug. At a rate of 2 centimeters per day, they can spend weeks, months, or even a year to complete the carpet. These extraordinary craftswomen let their imagination come up with unique creations.
A Beni Ouarain carpet will always contain imperfections. And this is what gives it a soul. It carries within a spirit of non-submission to modern and industrial decorative standards.
This white Moroccan wool rug with lines or geometric shapes has gone globally. It decorated living rooms with a Scandinavian, romantic, and classic style. These unique pieces match decorative trends of all kinds.
The Beni Ouarain carpet may be the subject of artist-craftsman collaboration. Its different shapes and colors can give life to true timeless works of art. Those looking for vintage pieces or trendy decor find the Berber carpet incredibly fitting their desires.
Over time, the classic black and white renews itself. And now we find Beni Ouarain rugs in other colors such as gray or blue.
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