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How to recognize a Berber wool rug? Our guide

How to recognize a Berber wool rug? Our guide

To recognize a Berber wool rug , you need to ask yourself several questions:

What are Berber rugs ? Are they only made in Morocco? What are copies of the original model? How to differentiate them? The answers in this article

Answers to these questions and an overview of the history of Berber wool rugs .

There are several definitions. But for the moment, we will attribute them to carpets made in the Rif and Western Sahara. Indeed, they are in fact rugs originating from North Africa, manufactured mainly in the Moroccan Rif region and Western Sahara .

It is mainly manufactured in wool base mutton but also goat and lamb. Moroccan rugs are often colored or white, in the Scandinavian style. They are often dotted with red, orange or blue stripes. A Berber rug is generally made in 3 or 4 layers including an outer layer of wool.

The criteria for recognizing a true Berber wool rug

You must pay attention mainly to the structure, colors, touch and material used.

There are many Berber tribes . It is therefore necessary to take into account the precise characteristics of each Berber tribe creating these Moroccan rugs .

The price is also a guarantee of quality and prestige. Be careful not to be fooled and do not hope to have authentic and traditional quality by purchasing from large industrial groups, assassins of ancestral know-how women carpet weavers .

Recognizing a Berber wool rug based on the tribe

Different tribes to recognize a Berber wool carpet

A Berber wool rug is the symbol of Berber culture and Moroccan heritage . Its history begins at the same time as the history of man but its exact origin is unknown. It is sometimes used as a prayer rug in Berber mosques in Algeria, Morocco and Western Sahara.

The Moroccan carpet was the subject of significant archeology work in the field by scientists which led to the creation of the Berber carpet museum in Aït-Ben-Haddou.

Today, Berber rugs are a symbol of Moroccan culture and craftsmanship . The different Berber tribes creating carpets in Marrakech are:

  • THE Smara in traditional decoration,
  • THE Ait Atta And Ait Sidi Slimane for low pile carpets,
  • THE Beni M'guild for long pile carpets,
  • THE Bni Snous for short pile carpets.

We think in particular of the tribes Beni Ourain , Azilal Or Kilim .

The materials used

Women weaving a Berber wool carpet

THE Berber rugs are made from wool lamb or mutton. They are woven by hand, using a traditional weaving machine of Arab origin.

There are several manufacturing steps for a Berber wool rug . The first step is to choose the wool that will be used for the rug. There are several types of wool, including sheep and camel. The wools are then carded. It is a process of removing impurities from wool and removing them, resulting in softer wool. It is also necessary clean a wool rug. Finally, the wools are braided on a traditional weaving machine. The rug is then spread out on the floor to let the wool dry after cleaning.

Sheep raised in the Moroccan Atlas Mountains are renowned for having the best wool in the world . The climate is very favorable for sheep breeding. The region of High Atlas is typical of continental Morocco, with its two seasons: the dry season ( from November to March ) and the rainy season ( from June to October ).

With a sharp eye, recognize a Moroccan rug is rather easy. It is true that the second-hand market is doing well, they can last for years.

The price: good tip for recognizing a real Berber wool rug

Their price varies greatly. THE Moroccan Berber rug is a living product, and as its production is done by hand, each rug looks like no other, they are unique in the world.

Now we are still at high-end prices. Imagine, a woman weaver can take up to 3 weeks to make a single rug, due to the work time and the technique used, these works of art would sell for much more if they were produced by us.

At Atlaswoolrugs , we have chosen a fair and equitable price for everyone. We took the daring bet of remunerating carpet weavers at their fair value, in addition to offering them social security coverage for their entire household ( subscribe to the newsletter to follow our adventures ).

Other tips for recognizing a real Berber wool rug?

The different Berber patterns

THE Berber patterns are very varied. Each region in Morocco has its own cultural heritage, and therefore, its own reasons for Beni Ouarain rug . We can see very colorful rugs decorated with animals or rugs of unparalleled simplicity.

There are also lion-headed rugs ( the symbol of the Moroccan nation ), prayer rugs or rugs with handles ( very practical for carrying the rug ). Their designs are often flowers or arabesques, but you will also find rugs with designs representing characters from Moroccan history. We also see a lot of patterns such as diamonds, arrows, etc.

The knots on a real Berber carpet are asymmetrical

The knotting of Moroccan carpets is always very particular.

  1. The knotting is generally asymmetrical.
  2. They are different sizes.
  3. They have various shapes.
  4. They are made by several threads.

The fact that there are visible imperfections proves their authenticity and the complexity of creating them by hand. In addition, the tighter the knots, the better the quality.


Fringe of a wool Berber carpet

The signature of these rugs is the unique fringe at the end of the rug. This thin line is often embedded with threads protruding from the carpet. It signifies the end of weaving. So you have one end with bangs and the other without.

Need a custom Berber rug ? Contact us now to know the process.

Industrial Berber carpets

Recognizing an authentic rug is essential to avoid buying copies created by large industrial groups. To do this, it's quite simple, you just need to take into account the information in this article.

These groups are slowly killing Berber know-how, history, traditions and heritage. that we seek to perpetuate at Atlaswoolrugs. They offer unbeatable prices but for really poor quality.

You have the choice between paying the price once for a piece that will accompany you for many years or overconsuming and buying again several times in several years, choosing a colorful Berber carpet maybe the best solution.

We might as well opt for second hand. In fact they are renowned for being very resistant from year to year, after a thorough cleaning, it can be like new.


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