Moroccan Rugs | Discover Their History at the Mehraban Blog
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A History of Moroccan Rugs

Vintage Moroccan rug designs can be traced back to the Paleolithic Era. With each rug telling a story, they are meaningful and powerful. This kind of rug will add unspeakable value to any space. Let’s take a look at the history of these skilly-created rugs.

pink moroccan rug in courtyard area

Where Did It All Start?

The Moroccan rug can be dated back to 622 AD and was first woven in Morocco by the women of the Berber tribe. Reflecting Morocco’s distinctive climate and the voice of its people, this piece of art speaks for itself. This rug style will give your space an exquisite taste of luxury and culture. Tribal rugs from Morocco have long been noted for their handspun wool, saturated color, intuitive motifs, and charmingly irregular surface, making them one of the most noteworthy pieces of interior decor for as long as they are around. 

With high elevation levels and snow-capped mountains as their neighbors, the people of the Berber tribe persevered. Some rugs were made to withstand the snowy weather and crisp temperatures of the Atlas Mountains. While others were made with a lighter flat-weave, made to withstand the harsh heat of the Sahara.

With its primary material being wool, most rugs were created with wool directly from the family’s sheep. Making them soft and luscious to the touch. The innovation and creativity of this rug style are simply remarkable.

A Distinctive Gateway 

A vintage Moroccan rug is so much more than just a rug. It is a gateway into the past and a salute to the future. Created with special symbols, a meaningful language is passed down from generation to generation. The people of the Berber tribe use their symbols to represent feminine energy, awakening spirituality, strong male protection, and more. The story of the weaver's life can be told with significant weaving of this masterpiece. 

Because of the intricate details, these rug styles can take up to an entire year to be completed. With a combination of magic symbolism and minimalist utility, the Moroccan rugs have a special appeal.

Moroccan rugs hanging against a stone wall

How to Read Your Luxury Area Rug 

 Let’s take a look at the mystical symbols found on these extraordinary rug types:

  • Nose - The nose symbol has the physical appearance of a crow’s beak which is worn around a child’s neck, representing protection.
  • Lion’s Paw - A lion’s paw is a symbol of strength.
  • Barley - A delicate symbol of fertility.
  • Partridge Eyes - A symbol of beauty and femininity. 
  • Bird - A lucky sign of good fortune.
  • Saw - A symbol that represents metal workers who withhold high amounts of respect. The people of the Berben tribe believe that metal keeps demons and evil spirits away.
  • Snakes and Fish - These symbols are known to represent a holy or divine person.
  • Eye - The eye is a symbol of protection against evil spirits coming from all directions.
  • Frog - The frog is a symbol of magical power.

The diverse symbolism of Moroccan rugs allowed people from the tribe of Berber to send messages as well as express themselves and release emotions. In addition to telling stories and sending messages, these rugs are also used as seat covers, bed covers, and blankets. The true meaning of antique Moroccan rugs is expansive, meaningful, and powerful. 

Characteristics of Moroccan Rugs 

With the deep history and diverse culture of Moroccan rugs comes a lot of character. The character of a rug can help you to point out exactly which tribe the design belongs to. Let’s take a look at some of the most important characteristics of this rug style:

  • Texture: The texture and thickness of the rug tell us where they were meant to be used. Thicker rugs indicate that the rug was meant to be used in the mountains with high altitudes and colder temperatures. Thinner woven rugs were made to endure hotter temperatures.
  • Size: The standard size of a Moroccan rug is usually 5-7 feet in width and 3-10 meters in length. The size of the rug greatly depended on the movement of the tribe. Rugs were created in smaller sizes to provide the tribe with ease of traveling. Larger rugs were made to be stationary for longer periods of time. 
  • Colors and Patterns: The biggest goal of an antique Moroccan rug is storytelling. Every single part of the rug holds value and meaning. Vital details of the weaver’s life are carefully hand woven into each rug.  Every color, pattern, shape, and design has symbolism. 

Common Moroccan Rug Designs

Let’s take a look at a few common Morrocan rug designs:

  • Beni Ourin: These rugs are simple and elegant. With orderly patterns, they are made from pure wool.
  • Azilal: Originating from the high atlas mountains, this rug style displays bold and bright colors. This rug usually showcases divine feminine energy, representing things like marriage, birth, fertility, and maternity. 
  • Boucherouite: The Boucherouite style is one of the most unique variations of the Moroccan rug. Wool became scarce and hard to obtain. With innovative thinking, the people of the tribe used cotton, lurex, and nylon to create their rugs instead. 

If you’d like to know more about the rich history of antique Moroccan rugs or would like to own one yourself, contact us today. We are more than happy to help you add quality and luxury to your living space.

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