Monday, March 12, 2012

Beni Ouarain

The Beni Ouarain pile-weaving tradition may date back as far as the tribe's arrival in their present settlement region around the turn of the last millennium. This suggestion is based on the need for these tribes to produce textiles for protection against winter cold in the highland areas.

Beni Ouarain Rug

West Elm Souk Rug
The carpets are produced largely in the Atlas Mountains and the western regions; the tribes in the arid eastern sector only have a relatively small rug production of their own. As is true of most tribes in the Middle Atlas, the Beni Ouarain did not use carpets as floor covers, but rather as beds and bedding. This explains the loose structure of the rugs, which adjust to the shape of the body and offer effective protection against the cold.

Beni Ouarain
Beni Ouarain
The classic Beni Ouarain carpet design has a network of diamonds made up of relatively fine black lines on a white (or cream) ground. Borders are uncommon, and even the secondary guard design elements along the sides appear to be the result of external influences.

Beni Ouarain

Beni Ouarain 

Traditional Beni Ouarain Rugs

Moroccan Rug By Mansour Modern

In the last 10 years this style of rug has become very popular in the high end of the interior design. Many importers have brought them to the US and Europe to sell. They have since gained popularity amongst the more mass market retailers as well. Since the imported rugs are all one of a kind and cannot be mass produced, the retailers have chosen to copy classical Beni Ourain designs and reproduce them on a larger scale in places like India and China.

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