5 Interesting Facts about Berber Carpets

by Denise Doff

Berber carpets, with their unique, irreverent, free designs, are informal and fun and tend to work well in modern, western interiors. Beni Ourain and Beni Mguild in particular have recently become extremely popular and have become Denise, our interior stylist’s favourite.

1.    Rural Berber carpets are handwoven into abstract patterns and symbols that tell the stories of a tribe. Carpets from the Middle Atlas such as zanafi, have a deep, woollen pile to keep out the cold and are usually long and narrow.

 2.    The creamy shedwi carpets of the High and Middle Atlas Beni Ourain and Beni Mguild tribes are decorated with simple black or dark brown patterns.

 3.    The haouz carpets of the west, between the Atlas and the Atlantic, have free-floating shapes and bright colours, oranges & deep reds.  

 4.    Kilims, or hanbels, from Chichaoua, are flat-woven rugs with detailed geometric designs and usually coloured in black, white and yellow on a red background. 

 5.    The art of carpet weaving is exclusively female and influenced by pre-Islamic beliefs that are entrenched in magic and the legends of the Berber tribes.



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