Moroccan Beni Ourain rugs are traditional pile knot rugs, hand woven by members of Berber tribes. Beni Ourain rugs are an especially well known and sought after rug type. The Beni Ourain are semi-nomadic shepherds who live high in the Atlas Mountains. These tribes still exist and still create rugs to this day using traditional methods.
The weaving is typically done by the female members of the tribes. These decorative rugs often take years to complete. Traditionally, the women would incorporate personal experiences into each rug. Common images are symbols of fertility, nature or daily life. Most rugs, however, are simple in their design.
Beni Ourain rugs are famous for their quality, subtle colors and softness. Traditionally made of high quality sheep wool, these rugs are durable. The wool is hand-spun into yarn and hand knotted, which give them their famous plush feel. The sheep wool is natural and undyed. These individually crafted rugs are intended to be passed down from generation to generation.
Rug Use in Interior Design
These handmade rugs are known for quality and craftsmanship and are popular with interior designers. They are often referred to colloquially as a Beni rug. They typically have an ivory or off-white body contrasted with brown or gray motifs. The darker components of the Beni rug are made from special wool from the head and face of the sheep. Sometimes black goat hair is added. The designs are mildly geometric, but not excessively so, often using grids or diamonds. Due to the natural undyed yarn these versatile pieces are warm and calming. They add an elegance and a luxurious feel without overpowering the rest of the room’s design.
These unique tribal rugs compliment any decor style. If you want to maintain a traditional look, the rugs can be mixed with other middle eastern or oriental elements. Otherwise, they fit right in with new furniture and modern designs. Due to their timeless simplicity and elegance, they have been used by many famous designers and architects for generations, such as Frank Lloyd Write and the Eames brothers. More distinctive rugs use natural plant dyes found in the area, such as tea, figs and pomegranate. The best way to clean these rugs is by vacuuming them. Vacuums with a rotating brush can damage the delicate fibers, so just using suction is preferred.
A traditional Beni rug is best purchased from a trusted dealer. Antique rugs are available as well as modern versions. Some people prefer to purchase a vintage rug, while others want one that is custom made. Prices are reasonable, especially for the quality. Price can range, however, based on age and size. There are lower quality imitations on the market. However, the materials, softness of pile and general overall feel are not the same. As Beni rugs are so timeless, it is better to get an authentic rug. Since demand is high their value rarely decreases. Not only are these traditional Moroccan carpets high quality, but they are also individual pieces of art.