The search for the original and authentic Moroccan Rug

Of course we love Moroccan carpets and textiles, with their intuitive design, beautiful use of colour, and intriguing motifs and symbols!

However, the availability of genuinely old rugs is naturally limited and because there’s been such a great demand for these carpets, there are less available now than ever. Good pieces are hard to come by and finding them requires spending lots of time out in the remote villages and connecting with Berber families and knowledgeabl locals

So, what should you look for if you’re after something genuinely old, authentic and totally gorgeous?

One of our rugs in a gorgeous mid century modern style home

One of our rugs in a gorgeous mid century modern style home

size matters

In the Middle Atlas Mountains and the cold northern regions of Morocco, such as where Beni Ouarain rugs were created, carpets were woven as sleeping mats so tend to be long and narrow as well as thick and heavy. Carpets were woven both by women for everyday use and also by master weavers for wealthy families. The latter could sometimes be up to 10 meters long

In the lower regions and the milder climates, carpets were generally used as seating mats or coverings so they are lighter and the sizes are different, with long blankets as well as smaller rugs

The large western room-size formats are almost always newer carpets. If woven with care and a personal touch, and with great quality wool, these can be beautiful. We often have these rugs on our website. What matters here is that they are great quality hand spun local wool and carefully woven by skilled weavers

In addition many news rugs are passed these off as old, having been worked and washed with antique treatments to look old or washed with bleaches to make them look white. Pricing should give you a clue as to the real quality 

The best carpet will also communicate the thoughts, fears, hopes and individual expressions of the weaver, with powerful images combined in a creative harmony, often with surprises and points of interest. Just by looking at different rugs, you can often get a sense of genuine 'one-off' creativity compared to standard formats that have been copied. An old rug might be very simple, such as some cream and brown Beni Ouarain pieces, however that simplicity will be original and inspired

a past life

There’s no getting away from it. A genuinely old carpet sourced from a Berber family will have wear, probably some marks, and other signs of its past life (henna marks, candle wax). These can be signs that it is genuine. We often make restorations, and our carpets will have been washed, often more than once.  Some carpets will have been cared for very carefully and will be in better condition, others will be wonderfully worn. Search for these signs – they are one way you’ll be able to tell vintage from more contemporary

Getting ready to explore a small Berber village in the mountains

Getting ready to explore a small Berber village in the mountains

carpets piled high

You might see photos of Moroccan carpet souks in the main tourist cities such as Marrakesh, with shops piled high with carpet upon carpet. One of the reasons this is possible is because there is a thriving commercial weaving industry, with large outlets employing women to produce carpet after carpet, working in production like conditions. Many of these carpets are passed off as vintage or as individually created family pieces. It’s unlikely that they are. So just take care to ask more questions and find out how and where and how your rug was woven

Authentic Moroccan rugs and textiles are beautiful and increasingly rare. We try to ensure that the families who sell them are rewarded and recognized for their treasures. And we hope that your original rug will give you a life time of pleasure

Don't settle for anything less

An old and original pure wool rug from our current collection

An old and original pure wool rug from our current collection