The recent resurgence of all things mid-century modern has thrown Moroccan Berberrugs back into the spotlight. WhenEuropean designers first fell in love with theiralluring beauty during the mid-20th century, they loaded their bags and camels high with the luxurious piles, expertly handwoven by people from the Berber tribe, transporting them from theAtlas Mountains in Northern Africa and introducing them to the west.
Designers such asLe Corbusier paired the thick rugs with sleek furniture, and soon everyone wanted one. And it's not hard to see why. Despite being aroundfor over 1,000 years (with some patterns being traced back as far as the Paleolithic era or the Stone Age) the style is an enduring classic, acting as a neutral to blend seamlessly into any interior.
We owe these beautiful Berber style rug designs (orBeni Ourain as they are also referred to) to thenomadic women of the Beni Ourain tribe, who passed down their looping techniques and secret family patterns for generations.
But there's more to these rugs than meets the eye. The patterns aren't just beautiful,they are symbolic too – the lozenge, chevron and diamond shapes representing femininity and fertility.
And, like fingerprints, the original Moroccan Berber rug patterns were as unique and individual as the weavers who created them. Because the colours, patterns and woven designs were all inextricably linked to the isolated villages where they originated – which we think gives these rugs a new dimension beyond aesthetic.
Thankfully, these days, you don't have to book a flight to Morocco just to get your hands on a Beni Ourain rug. As well as the authentic ones, you can also pick up Berber-inspired ones and achieve the same effect. We've found three stunning collections that are just a click away.We challenge you not to fall in love with these designs...
Sourcing original authentic Berber rugsfrom the Beni Ouraintribe in Morocco,Maison M has an ever-changing but always beautiful rug collection that has us refreshing its page almost daily. These are not just Berber-style – they're the real deal.
None quite floating your boat? The brand also privately sources many rugs specifically for individual homes, trawling through one-off designs from the tiniest villages – saving you from a whole lot of trawling online.
Also hand-knotted by the Beni Ourain tribe in the Atlas Mountains,Lilla Rugshave a thick and heavy pile, made from 100% wool, and are considered to be among the best rugs in all of Morocco.The designs are actuallysurprisingly modern looking, featuring minimalist designs of crosses, diamonds and geometric motifs, and they are guilt-free too as theyare all eco-friendly, fair trade and locally produced.
Budget not quite stretching to the real McCoy? Save yourself some dolla withFrench Connection’s convincing imitations. Their Spring Summer 2018 collection features designs that are heavily influenced by the textiles you might find hanging in the souks of Marrakech or Fez.
The new range is all aboutrustic, unfinished and purposefully uneven texture on cushions, rugs and throws, withunfinished edges, and differential pile lengths and fibre density which all work towards creating a dishevelled and unrefined look.