Vintage Moroccan Kilims

Moroccan rugs are still making a splash in global interior trends.  Cosy high pile fluffy rugs, created with thick knots of pure wool, have taken centre stage, especially minimalist beni ourain. Yet, Moroccan Berber tribes also created an astonishing array of different types of rugs using 'flat weave' techniques – kilims (knows as 'hanbals' in Morocco), blankets, woven floor coverings that don't have a thick knotted pile - and these are some the most stunning pieces you can find. With distinctive designs that arise from the way they were woven,  and which are often based on ordered geometric shapes or simple harmonious bands of colour, these rugs can bring inherent sense of modernity and drama to a room

Left, a Maroc Tribal kilim that was woven as a grain bag. We opened it up to make a rug. Right, another grain bag that has been opened and is for sale 

Left, a Maroc Tribal kilim that was woven as a grain bag. We opened it up to make a rug. Right, another grain bag that has been opened and is for sale 

Moroccan Berber pastoralists and peasant farmers had a large part of their economy based around sheep breeding, and these lovely textiles, woven by women on upright looms, reflected the importance of wool for every aspect of life. This included important stages in people’s life such as wedding capes; thick shaggy shawls (known as 'handiras'); flat floor coverings for tents or homes; warm blankets; and big grain sacks that were carried on a mule, and which we now open 

You can use handiras - shaggy wool and cotton shawls on the floor as well as on beds. They exhibit some of the finest weavin g work you can find in Morocco

You can use handiras - shaggy wool and cotton shawls on the floor as well as on beds. They exhibit some of the finest weavin g work you can find in Morocco

As with thick pile rugs, different Moroccan tribes had different vibrant weaving traditions. Some used natural dyes and dyed with henna, others used bold red,  magenta, mauve, rose, tangerine and brown. Regional differences abound, for example kilims woven in the warm south of Moroccan make abundant use of sunny yellow and saffron colours, hues not seen so much in the north. Motifs and symbols differ by region, too

Brooklyn home of author Julia Chaplin Photo from One Kings Lane. This kilim uses warm yellow and orange alongside natural undyed dark brown 

Brooklyn home of author Julia Chaplin Photo from One Kings Lane. This kilim uses warm yellow and orange alongside natural undyed dark brown 

While many Berber flat weaves are minimal and very dramatic, others make use colour, texture and pattern in a bold and eye catching ways 

A deep pastel kilim with a riot of motifs and weaving techniques.  Riad El Fenn in Morocco. Photo from The Lane 

A deep pastel kilim with a riot of motifs and weaving techniques.  Riad El Fenn in Morocco. Photo from The Lane 

Due to the particular weaving techniques used, strong bands of colour and bold geometric designs feature strongly, often combined with white or cream cotton to mark out the motifs. These energetic designs and colours look great with a muted interior palette 

A Zaiane kilim used in a modern Oslo apartment with floating steel staircase. Photo from Design Hunter

A Zaiane kilim used in a modern Oslo apartment with floating steel staircase. Photo from Design Hunter

Muted simplicty at hotel San Giorgio. Photo Stil Inspiration

Muted simplicty at hotel San Giorgio. Photo Stil Inspiration

Some of our kilims and blankets date back to the 1960s,  and all were found by us in Berber villages and markets - take a look here