As we spend this month highlighting Moroccan rugs, we are most excited to jumpstart the conversation on the direct product of a richly artistic heritage, telling a story of tradition, craft, resilience, and color! These pieces aren’t just floor coverings; they are intricate works of art that reflect the identity, skills, and creativity of the Moroccan people and their tribal representation.
Tribal Representation and the Berber People
Morocco is a country with diverse landscapes and geography, and this depth is reflected directly throughout its rugs and design. Different regions produce distinct styles of rugs, each influenced by local traditions and available materials. If you travel through different areas such as the Northern coast, the Rif Mountains, the high, middle and Low Atlas, to the Sahara, you will notice variation in language, clothing, cooking, architecture, social structure, marriage customs, as well as design style.
Our Moroccan rug collection represents many tribes, like the Beni Ouraine and Boucherouite people. Most of these rugs often have Berber beginnings, crafted by the indigenous Berber people who have inhabited Northern Africa for centuries. The Berber tribes have a long-standing tradition of weaving, and their rugs feature unique geometric patterns, vivid colors and symbols that hold cultural significance. In the words of Jeff Arcari, co-owner, and rug expert at Landry & Arcari, “The Berbers weren’t afraid of color and honestly neither are we!” he laughs, while simultaneously unraveling bales and bales of vintage and antique Moroccan rugs. The endless variations of designs and color tell stories and set intention for all occasions, enjoying that endless adventure from rug to rug, is what has us all wrapped up in these pieces.
The materials used in Moroccan rugs contribute to their durability and distinctive appearance. Most Moroccan rugs are made from high-quality sheep wool. This natural fiber is known for its softness and warmth. It also takes to natural dyes particularly well, allowing for a wide range of colors. Cotton is often used for the foundation of the rug, forming the base on which the wool pile is woven. The distinct combination of wool and cotton makes for a particularly durable and lifelong weave. Some weavers may even blend different materials to create a varied texture, for example a mix of high-pile and low-pile sections can add visual interest and unique dimension to the rug. Traditional Moroccan rugs often feature colors derived from natural sources like plants, vegetables, and minerals. This contributes to the distinct and earthly color palette of these rugs.
Style and Symbolism
Moroccan rugs serve as a form of visual language, conveying messages and stories through symbols and motifs. These iconic rugs were made and used all over the home from the floors to the walls, to tent coverings and for ceremonial occasions. So, weaving designs of purpose and intention were essential to the Berber people and many tribes alike.
One of the most striking features of Moroccan rugs is their geometric designs. These patterns often consist of diamonds, triangles , and other shapes, each representing different aspects of Berber culture, such as spirituality, fertility, or protection from evil. The symmetry and precision of these designs showcase the artisan's skill and storytelling. Dozens and dozens of the symbols woven into these rugs carry meanings that are passed down through generations dating back to the Paleolithic Era.
In recent years, Moroccan rugs have gained immense popularity in the global market, transcending cultural boundaries to become coveted interior design elements . The unique combination of traditional craftsmanship and contemporary design sensibilities makes these rugs playful additions to any space, from bold and colorful bohemian-inspired living rooms to minimalist modern interiors.
Rolling out this collection spotlight here at Landry & Arcari Rugs and Carpeting we have spent many hours admiring and honoring each rug and the individuality it “brings to the table”. Across all design tastes and opinions there has been a favorite for everyone, and when its time for you to style your own adventure we are along for the ride and will help educate you through our experience and storytelling every step of the way.