A Guide to Moroccan Rugs

Whether you’re a professional interior designer, or you’re simply looking to upgrade the look of your home, then introducing Berber rugs to your rooms can make a big impact. However, knowing how to find the best rugs out there can be tricky – for example, Moroccan rugs are some of the most beautiful pieces on the planet, but when it comes to choosing one for your living room, it’s easy to become overwhelmed by the complexity of the fabrics and colors on offer. Despite this, Moroccan rugs come with a host of benefits, including high-quality materials and traditional weaving styles. In this guide, we’ll be discussing everything you need to know about Berber rugs, particularly those crafted in the Morocco region, as well as bringing you some of the most popular styles out there for interior designers and DIYers alike.

The History of Moroccan Rugs

Moroccan rugs have a rich history, and vintage pieces were made by Berber women in rural villages and tribes throughout Morocco and other North African regions. These women held traditional roles across society with their main responsibilities being the maintenance of the household, which included cooking, cleaning, caring for children and tending to crops. Unfortunately, this meant that many of the women were seldom allowed to engage in public life, which encouraged them to turn to crafting and weaving as an outlet for their creativity. This led to some of the beautiful, bold patterns seen in Berber rugs all the way to the modern day, with the diverse skill set of the Berber women flourishing through their advanced designs. Not only are the rugs visually breath-taking, but they also tell the stories of the women at the heart of their creation.

Having crafted these rugs, Berber women would make extensive use of them throughout the home. Some of their most common uses were as floor rugs, but they also found functionality as bed covers and blankets. As the rugs are densely weaved, and often made of thick material like sheep’s wool, they hold in the warmth and comfort that different generations demanded. On top of this, the rugs were a fantastic way for Berber women to make money, and they would regularly be seen at local markets. Modern Berber rugs are just as high quality and durable as their traditional counterparts, so this longevity has carried through to the modern day.

The Variety of Moroccan Rugs

A common assumption around Moroccan rugs is that, while they are beautiful, they are very similar in style no matter the year or design in which they were crafted. However, this couldn’t be further from the truth, with rugs available in a huge range of colors and patterns. This range includes bold, graphically dense designs that brighten up the feel of any space, to some minimalistic and monochromatic patterns perfect for adding a finishing touch to a neutrally-toned area. Because of the huge range of designs that Berber rugs can be found in, they’re a popular choice among collectors who keep their pieces for decades. For the Berber women who have passed these rugs down from mother to daughter for generations, there is no greater compliment.

Choosing A Moroccan Rug

When you’re shopping for a Berber or Moroccan rug, there are a number of things to consider in your search for the perfect addition to your home.

  • Material

First things first, what material are you looking for in your Berber rug? Do you want a short wool, or a shag Moroccan rug that stands out with its thick material?

  • Layout

The layout of your room will play a surprisingly significant role in the rug you choose to decorate with, so take some time to consider how you want your rug to fit in your room before making any final decisions.

  • Design

Finally, the design you choose for your rug will say a lot about your personality, so make sure that your final decision is based on how it makes you feel. Moroccan rugs will also look different depending on the surrounding furniture and colors, so choose a rug that fits in harmony with the overall style and design of the room.

Next up, we’ll be discussing some of the different Moroccan rugs available, to help you choose the best option for you.

Azilal Rugs

Around 100 miles northeast of Marrakesh, you’ll find Azilal, at the heart of the High Atlas mountains. Originally a home for the various Amazigh tribes to gather, the spot is now known for its intricately designed and decorated tribal rugs, with their bold geometric patterns. However, it’s the incredible Berber symbols and motifs that truly make Azilal rugs a hit with interior designers around the world! If you’re looking for a vibrant, colorful Moroccan rug, then an Azilal piece is right for you – they typically use brighter colors, including reds, saffron, turquoise and ivory, than their Beni Ourain counterparts, which makes them the perfect fit for bohemian style interiors.

Beni Ourain

Characteristic of the nomadic Berber tribe, Beni Ourain rugs are one of the most popular Moroccan rug styles that are found around the world, and for good reason. Their natural ivory wool with geometric patterns makes it easy to find a Beni Ourain rug suitable for your home, regardless of your personal interior design style!

Boujad Rugs

Found in a small city near Béni Mellal-Khénifra, Boujad is home to some of the most beautiful rugs, famous for the soft purples, pinks and reds that make up most of its natural dyes and soft wool. Handmade by Berber women, these rugs tell a feminine story and are the perfect gift for weddings or other special occasions.

Taznakht Rugs

Renowned for their high quality wool, and popular for their use of natural dyes like henna, pomegranate and saffron, Taznakht rugs are distinct from many of the other Moroccan or Berber rugs on the market. If you’re looking for a unique piece that will make a statement then choosing a rug from the Ait Ouaouzgite subtribe is the way to go. Not only are they less commonly found than other Moroccan pieces, but they’re also silky and the perfect bedroom addition, with a lustrous shine and luxurious feel.

Boucherouite Rugs

Not to be outdone, the Boucherouite is a popular choice among Berber rug enthusiasts worldwide, particularly those who have an eye for foreign art. Woven from recycled non-wool materials, they also offer a sustainable rug choice for people whose interior design is shaped by a love for the planet. The fact that these authentic rugs are so wonderfully crafted with used materials shows the incredible talent of Berber women as they create spectacular works of art.

There’s a reason why Boucherouite rugs are found in hotels, galleries and guest houses – their beauty truly transcends language barriers and personal tastes.

Beni M'rirt Rugs

Nestled in the heart of the Middle Atlas mountains is M’rirt, a small city in the province of Béni Mellal-Khénifra that produces some truly spectacular rugs, densely woven with double knots and crafted from the finest quality wool for a silky texture. Thanks to their opulence, M’rirt rugs are often dubbed as ‘noble rugs,’ and their superior craftsmanship helps these pieces to live up to high expectations. Because of this, M’rirt rugs are finding homes all over the world, with interior designers turning to these beautiful fabrics to elevate the look and style of their work. If you’re searching for a Moroccan rug that can take your home to the next level, then M’rirt is a fantastic place to start.

Talsint Rugs

One of the oldest villages in today’s Morroco is Talsint, where you’ll still find Berber women crafting beautiful rugs that are a reflection of their minds’ creativity. Also known as Aït Bou Ichaouen rugs, Talsints are a relatively recent find, but their bold colors and unique patterns that draw on flowers, roots and plants, make them the obvious choice for buyers looking for a rug with a rich history.

Marmoucha Rugs

If you’re searching for a thick, heavy rug, and are a fan of bold geometric patterns, then a Marmoucha rug is perfect for you. Often found with traditional Berber symbols woven throughout, as well as both neutral or colorful wool, you’re spoiled for choice if your favourite of the Moroccan rugs is a Marmoucha!

Not only are Marmoucha rugs stunning to look at, but they are also a lot more versatile than some of their Berber rug counterparts – for instance, many choose a Marmoucha as a hallway runner or carpet to slot under the dining table. There’s truly no limit to what these beautiful pieces can be used for.

Finding your dream Moroccan rug might feel overwhelming due to the huge range of choice and variety, but once you see your dream piece, you’ll know. Take some inspiration from our guide, and start out with some of the more popular design types that originate from the Berber region, and before you know it you’ll be placing a beautiful Moroccan rug in your home.