More About Black and White Moroccan Rugs
While Moroccan rugs come in various colors, black and white ones have become increasingly popular due to their timeless, minimal chic design that easily blends into any space.
Black and white Moroccan rugs are woven with natural undyed wool: Traditional Beni Ourain rug-makers don’t use chemical dyes or any man-made fibers, achieving the natural, clean look that is highly praised in the interior design world. Black and white Moroccan rugs are made of Berber wool and are as pure as they come, having a soft, plush, and thick underfoot. They have been referred to as the most comfortable rug in the world and were initially created centuries ago for bedding purposes.
The origins of “black and white” wool
Moroccan rug wool is highly sought-after worldwide due to its undyed, natural beauty. Undyed sheep’s wool is hand-spun into single or double-stranded threads to create traditional Moroccan rugs. This wool is then woven with horizontal and vertical knots resulting in the intricate patterns in many Moroccan rugs. While at first glance these two-toned Moroccan rugs may in fact look black and white, the undyed hues of these wool strands actually range from deep terracotta to light cream, giving the rug additional dynamism and unique character that could not be achieved by artificially dyeing the wool. Undyed wool also keeps an unaltered soft texture and its natural tones are considered a sign of authenticity and a culture identifier.
While it's common knowledge that sheep have off-white, cream-colored wool, the origin of the undyed dark wool is lesser-known. One of the breeds with naturally darker wool is the Beni Guil sheep, a unique breed native to the Beni Guil tribe in Morocco. With its distinctive brown wool, Beni Guil sheep have become quite popular in recent years due to their bright, lustrous coat and hardiness of fur. Other sheep breeds can also have natural color variation in their wool. Since dark tones are rare, these fibers are used to create the design and accents on a light background.
Designs of black and white Moroccan rugs
Common design elements of these rugs include bold geometric motifs, arrows, and stars — as well as related symbols like animals and minerals. The Beni Ourain's natural hues reflect its earthy origins, with shades of ivory, grey, and black dominating the scene. While black and white Moroccan rugs may appear delicate at first glance due to the extraordinary softness of their wool, they are actually highly durable pieces that can withstand years of use when properly maintained.