One of the latest trends being sought by consumers and by interior designers is the Berber rug, and more specifically, Beni Ourain Moroccan Berber rugs, which are hand crafted by artisans living in the Atlas Mountains. The main appeal of these rugs is the simple, yet sophisticated designs that add special flair to the design of a room.
These rugs feature mostly geometric patterns and simple colors like black and brown on a light cream or off-white background. Symbols that are specially woven into Berber rugs have a deeper meaning than simple designs created to appeal to decorators. Often times, designs are taken from things that naturally occur in life, like spirituality, nature, life in rural areas, birth, fertility, survival and beliefs. Creating these special designs gives artisans a way for these values and life expressions to be handed down through generations.
Special Design Elements Of Beni Ourain Rugs
Some of the special ways these rugs are crafted come from influences like the natural atmosphere and climate these artisans live in. Some rugs are tightly woven, with shorter pile and they’re woven finer so they can be used primarily to add design to a room and to be a floor covering. Other rugs are more loosely woven, and the pile is created higher to add warmth in cold climates or for use during colder times of the year.
Artisans who created Berber rugs also utilized colored using dyes from natural materials such as:
Henna – From a flowering, shrub like plant which can grow from 6 feet tall to 25 feet. Leaves are dried and crushed to create a paste or a powder used as a dye for skin and for fabrics, and it’s sometimes used to decorate Berber rugs
Iron sulfate – Best used as a dye for fabrics, the iron can originally be a green color in a crystallized form, but it turns dark when added to water
Almond leaves – A black dye can be extracted from the bark, leaves or even from the fruit of almond trees, which grow to be up to 110 feet tall
Indigo – Traditionally, a dark blue dye extracted from plants that are native to tropical areas
Other colors that can be found in these rugs, like purple, green, red, orange or yellow usually come from berries and other parts of plants.
Unique Designs With Hand Crafted Appeal
Since most dyes used in Beni Ourain rugs come in darker colors, rugs crafted with designs made from these natural dyes work well in almost any design scheme. This has added to the popularity of Berber rugs.
Rugs are individually created for purposes of telling a story of rural life in the Atlas Mountains, making them very unique and abstract. Some rugs feature a fringe edging or a border, depending on the person creating them. A large part of the rug’s appeal is that they are one-of-a-kind and hand crafted.
Berber Rugs Are Timeless
A large part of the appeal of the hand crafted Beni Ourain rug is that they’re individually designed and created by people who were traditionally known to be goat herders and shepherds, who just happened to be surrounded by sheep that grew lush and luxurious coats of fine wool. This odd blending of coincidence, combined with the charm of a unique lifestyle, interesting traditions and beliefs of the people, led to the creation of these much sought after rugs. Today’s demand for high quality Berber rugs comes from consumers, interior designers and even from historians who love their appeal.