Most people have heard the name “Berber Rugs” and are familiar with them, but what they might not know is that the rugs are named for the tribes in Northern Africa that first made them, and are still making them to this day.
There are many fake Berber carpets of course, and Berber has become something of a style, but these carpets are nothing compared to the genuine hand-crafted carpets that have been made in Africa since the 7th century.
The Story Begins in What we Now Call Morocco
The different tribes that were known as the Berber have lived in the Middle and High Atlas Mountains for centuries. They were there before the Arab conquest in the 7th century and are still there to this day.
The carpets they made were used as cloaks, burial blankets, rugs, and were even used as mattresses. They came in a range of styles, weaves, colors, and pattern variations depending on the tribe and family that had made them.
The wool for the rugs was taken from the family sheep. It was then hand-spun into a variety of fibers of different tightness and thickness.
The fibers would be dyed in different colors using dyes crafted from recipes handed down hundreds of years. The dyes were made from hundreds of different local and distant herbs, leaves, fruits, minerals, and spices. They would occasionally be mixed together to create new colors before being used to treat the natural wool yarns into different colors.
Every different family, tribe, and tribal group had unique dyes, knots, patterns, weaves, and loops used to make the different cloaks, rugs, and saddle blankets unique to their origin.
While these were all unique, they also had the distinct colors and patterns that made collectors able to recognize them. Berber rugs have been found in the castles of royalty and the homes of the wealthy across Europe, Asia, and the Middle East.
As the rugs were known for their beauty and unique nature, they were often displayed rather than being put down on the floor. There are even museums that showcase the different rugs possessed by royal families across the world.
These days, there are still hundreds of isolated areas within Morocco where people are making unique Berber rugs and other products in the same manner they have been making them for centuries.
These rugs are not to be confused with the mass-produced machine-made Berber-style rugs that are sold in stores across the West. These rugs are handmade from start to finish and are worth the cost because of it.
Whether you’re interested in finding a new rug for the floor, or a new and unique decoration for your walls, a Berber rug from Morocco is a fantastic choice. They are available in a variety of different styles, patterns, colors, and thicknesses, with something to suit every décor.
Given that they are handmade from start to finish with a unique style, Berber rugs can become very valuable over time if they are taken care of.