ABOUT MOROCCAN RUGS AND TEXTILES
Genuinely old and original Moroccan Berber carpets are more rare than they have ever been: since the middle of the 20th century nomadic life in Morocco has been on the wane. During the same period Berber culture has come to world attention, and gorgeous, authentic Berber carpets have been snapped up. Copies (many lovely!) now abound.
Our aim is to find the vintage pieces -- carpets woven by Berber women mostly for their own use. They are full of the life and charm that can only be found in authentic tribal carpets and rugs. The best tribal carpets are individual and draw on the weaver's own experiences and personal life. We hope to explain honestly what is vintage & old and what is contemporary.
Tribal weaving grew from the skills of Berber settlers who have lived in the Atlas mountains for many thousands of years.
What unites all Moroccan carpets is a creative and archaic spirit and a language of rural symbols and motifs. Old tribal carpets can be spontaneous and bold. Some are very plain, others full of complex motifs; some are colourful while other feature subtle hues.
Modernist architects and designers such as Alvar Aalto, Frank Lloyd Wright, and Ray and Charles Eames used Moroccan tribal carpets to contrast with the clean and often hard lines of 20th century interiors. They are perfect for modern interiors.
Irregularities are common and unmatched patterns were often created on purpose. Colour, symbols and a sumptuous earthy aura mark out authentic Moroccan tribal carpets.
Because old pieces are now so hard to find, co-operatives have sprung up to supply the market with copies, particularly Beni Ouarainss, and reproductions now abound. These can be attractive but cannot replicate the creativity and originality of an old piece, created with care for personal use.
Certain tribes favour certain colours. Natural dyes are usually only found in items over 70-80 years old – almond leaves, cochineal, indigo, iron sulphate and cow urine were all used. Both synthetic and natural dyes fade - with older rugs you can be sure that most of the fading has already occurred.
The "language" of Moroccan Berber weaving is some of the most complex in the world of textiles. Often when a woman wove a rug it wasn’t just for her: it also served as a means of communication of sorts to be read by those closest to her. Weavings contain important thoughts and ideas. More often than not symbols make reference to the natural world, to fertility, birth, femininity, rural life and to nature as well as to spirituality and beliefs. Many weavers believed that rugs had powers to ward off evil.
Enjoy your Moroccan tribal rug - it is a thing of beauty!