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  • Timeless Chic: Beni Ourain Rugs

    Beni Ourain carpets are considered the most prestigious rugs in Morocco, made from the very finest wool. Every piece you take is the only piece, one of its kind. These rugs are luxurious and perfect for any sort of home design.

    Beni Ourain rugs are authentic tribal rugs fully hand-woven by women of the Beni Ourain and other neighbouring Berber tribes that reside in the North-Eastern Middle Atlas Mountains of Morocco, in the current Tazekka National Park, a province situated between Guercif, Taza and Sefrou cities (my ancestors are actually coming from this area).

     

    THE HISTORY:

    Winter is rough in the Moroccan Atlas Mountains where the lowest temperatures in Africa are observed. To protect themselves from the cold, Beni Ourain tribes, who lived in traditional tents, had no alternative other than to produce thick wool rugs to insulate themselves from an hostile environment.

    The Beni Ourain rugs were not intended to have a decorative purpose, they were traditionally used as bedding and blankets to keep them warm with their thick pile.

    Few decades ago, the Beni Ourain rugs were confined in Berber tents of the Atlas Mountains, this confinement is definitely broken in the early twentieth century under the French protectorate. Nowadays, they are used all over the world in refined interior decoration, as a very chic and fashion floor covering.

     Jenna Lyon's house

     

    THE MATERIAL:

    Beni Ourain rugs are made of pure sheep’s wool of high quality featuring shining pile of golden and ivory highlights ; one of this best organic wool is produced out of a unique rustic Berber sheep breed around the ancient race called ‘Marmoucha’.

    The Beni Ourain tribes excel in selecting softer and silkier wool during a harvesting that could last several years before gathering enough wool to make some rugs.

     

     

    THE ART:

    The Beni Ourain rugs very artistic designs have inspired many European artists such as Alvar Aalto, Le Corbusier (who matched the Berber rugs with sleekly designed furniture), Paul Klee and , as well as most famous modernist architects in the 1920’s and 30’s . They got trendy by Henri Matisse, who called them “The huge whites”.

    “I don't see them as trendy; I see them as timeless” and ‘’this quirkiness is exactly what makes these rugs appealing to interior designers. They give a room, particularly a cold, modern room, warmth and patina as well as a dose of ethnicity,” said Timothy Whealon of Timothy Whealon Interiors in New York about the Beni Ourain rugs.

    Emily Schuman's living room

     

    IMITATIONS & FRAUD:

    Unfortunately, Turkisch and Chinese factories produce copies of Beni Ourain carpets with industrial wool and can be sold for half price of an original. It is very easy to discover the frauds by simply checking out the reverse side of the carpet, the irregular knotting is a sign of a genuine Beni Ourain.

    Cupcakes and cashmere's office

    For the sake of the art, the Beni Ourain weavers are still hard at work, producing their masterpieces and decorate the world in their own way.

    If you want to stay inspired...