All About: Our Moroccan Rugs
Morocco is a feast for the senses- with its exotic aromas, rhythmic music, heavenly blue skies and vibrant patterns and colours. We travelled there earlier this Spring and headed up in to the Mid Atlas Mountains in search of rugs – something we have longed to add to our ibbi collections. And with their bold geometric designs and strong stunning colours, we found just what we were looking for.
Moroccan rugs are perfect for adding warmth and character and offsetting austere interiors. And each one is filled with symbolism, reflecting it’s makers ancestral traditions -which vary greatly, depending on where the rugs are woven.
Traditionally rugs were created exclusively by women and were created solely for personal use. Dense pile rugs were used as floor coverings, seating and even blankets during the harsh winter months.
Years ago, wool used for rug making was cooked in hot water over a charcoal fire, before being taken down to the river to be pulled apart, cleaned and dried. Once separated in to different grades, with the finest toughest wool being used for the warp and the thickest used for the weft, it would be dyed using natural dyes ( sumac, turmeric and saffron for yellow, walnut bark and henna for oranges and browns, ochre and madder root for reds, Tyrian for purple and indigo for blues).
Traditional weaving looms were made of wood- many still use wooden looms- but they tend to be narrow and it’s impossible to make wider rugs- which explains the usual width of Middle Atlas flat weaves. Metal looms are wider and more sturdy allowing the weavers to fold or roll the rugs as they work and so now are more frequently used.
The diverse style and texture of rugs is breathtaking and whilst the cosy fluffy Beni Ourain rugs created with thick knotted un dyed wool have taken centre stage recently, it was fascinating for us to discover the astonishing array of flat weave kilims created in the Mid Atlas Mountains by women’s cooperatives. With their intricate patterns reflecting the tribal identity of the weavers, these are colourful pieces with striking designs, reflecting the rich Berber history of Morocco.
The rug motifs you will see often include:
Tafenzad: looks like a line of bow ties
Hatif: a design of triangles made up of lots of smaller triangles
Menshar (meaning ‘saw’): a toothed zig zag design
Taxalalt: a motif based on the design of a brooch used to fasten traditional women’s clothes
Snan Izajel (meaning ‘calf’s teeth’): a design made u of small ‘x’s’
To discover more about our rugs, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us on 01434 409085. Please also contact us if you live in the North East and would like us to bring our collection of rugs to you. We’d be delighted to arrange this.