Wild Boucherouite Berber Rugs

finding your Moroccan rug

Since the middle of the 20th century a new type of Moroccan rug started to become better known - the crazy, chaotic, bold and beautiful Boucherouite (from the Arabic bu sherwit, meaning a piece material or a scrap of torn clothing). Like all authentic Moroccan rugs, it’s roots lay in deep practicality. As social, cultural and economic life changed for Berber communities, from isolated farming and nomadic existences where sheeps wool was used to create everything in the home to more settled, connected lives, women started to make a variety of practical domestic carpets using a much wider range of non-wool materials with non-traditional designs. Now the Boucherouite is found in some of the most chic homes!

Boucherouite Rug

Recycling to create beautiful boucherouite rugs

Wonderfully extravagant in colour, these rugs make use of rag strips and yarns from recycled clothes, wool, cotton, Lurex, plastic cut from grain-transport bags, packing materials, and nylon. Where original vegetable dyes used in wool carpets were on the whole subtle and soft, the dyes in these scraps are much brighter and bolder. Boucherouite rugs can feature asymmetrical patterning and free-form shapes based on the tribal symbols and motifs used in wool carpets, such as a lozenge, small square, and chevron shapes Yet with often unpredictable and helter-skelter compositions, it’s nearly impossible to discern the tribal variations between them.

Boucherouite Rug

Like so many beautiful Berber carpets, they combine practicality with an irresistible exuberance and sense of fun and happiness. Extremely lovely, they were never the less intended to be very simple household items. They were often used to cover more expensive hand-made wool rugs, when families were sitting on the floor, preparing food, or for babies to play on. They were also created to sit on when travelling by mule or horse, and are often still seen as saddle covers. Some will look tufted, others more rag-like, depending on how the materials are used and trimmed They are rarely very large yet still display a great creative vitality.

Boucherouite Rug

In the very best Boucherouite rugs you can clearly see that women have freely expressed their own views, sensations and ideas. Some will have an exuberance that is irresistible They may be fun and often boisterous, yet will certainly have echos of the daily thoughts and life of the weaver imprinted on them.

Boucherouite Rug

As with other Berber rugs, faced with a call for increased output many women now weave Boucherouite rugs directly for sale and export. But the best boucherouite work is really seen in the older and vintage rugs, that were truly woven with personal joy to be used in the home

Boucherouite Rugs