While this modern version is an acceptable option in many cases, it's a far cry from the beauty, intracyclical and quality of an authentic hand-woven Berber rug.
Berber or Beni Ourain rugs are named for the indigenous people who first wove them, a tradition that began an estimated 10,000 years ago and continues today. The Beni Ourain is a large tribe that consist of over a dozen smaller Berber tribes in the Atlas Mountains of Morocco in Northern Africa. The sheep that are raised there produce the high quality wool used to hand weave these magnificent floor coverings. Fine craftsmanship combined with ancient tradition creates a rug that is unique and authentically one of a kind.
The weaving techniques have been passed down through generations, often from mother to daughter, and the geometric designs are generally symbolic in nature. The patterns sometimes tell a personal story from the woman who weaved the piece, while some are designed to pass down ancestral tales. The tradition of telling stories through textiles dates back to ancient times, before the use of written language among the tribes. To the untrained eye, a genuine Berber rug may appear simplistic and streamlined. With closer inquiry and a little knowledge, the textile tells a story steeped in ancient culture. This juxtaposition of a perceived modern look to ancestral tradition adds an incredible level of interest, unmatched by any other decorative accent.
Authentic hand-woven Berber and Beni Ourain rugs offer a softer, more supple texture than their modern mass-produced counterparts. The material used for these hand-made masterpieces is usually produced by the individual weaver. The fine wool used in a genuine Berber rug is hand washed, spun and colored with natural dyes such as henna. This process creates beautifully rich yet muted tones. The color palette and the minimalist pattern lends itself to great versatility in interior decorating. A Berber rug pairs well with virtually any motif. From mid-century modern, to shabby chic, to traditional; a hand-woven floor covering from Morocco adds a warm and sophisticated touch.
These rugs are not just floor coverings, they are stunning works of art crafted by the finest artisans. Each piece tells its own incredible story. The high pile and supple quality of hand washed wool underfoot is nothing short of luxurious. A hand-woven Berber or Beni Ourain rug is truly a treasure and one of the finest rugs in the world