Which Moroccan rug is best?
An authentic Moroccan rug is a historical artifact of the native North African people. You can use these handcrafted rugs as plush carpeting or as magnificent tapestries, embellishing your home with traditional artistry. Berber Moroccan Rugs’ Beni Ourain Rug is a timeless rug with an off-white base and thin geometric patterns. This rug is plush, durable and stain-resistant, making it the perfect addition to any home.
What to know before you buy a Moroccan rug
Moroccan rugs are classified the same as all other area rugs — by their characteristics, materials and designs. There are many types of Moroccan rugs, each coming from a different culture and having distinct characteristics that set them apart.
Pile and counts
All rugs are classified by characteristics that determine their value. The pile in a rug refers to the length of its fibers. Fibers less than 1 inch are considered low pile and often are firm to the touch. Fibers over 1 inch tall are plush and classified as high pile. High-pile carpets are more expensive and attractive, and require much more maintenance.
Line counts are the number of stitches per square inch of a textile. A 200- to 400-line count is considered to be fine quality.
Needle counts are the number of loops in the yarn. Higher needle counts make for a denser, more durable rug.
Types of rugs
Moroccan rugs are products of the Berber people — native tribes of North Africa. These nomadic people are scattered across the region, and their rugs vary depending on the local flora and climate.
There are many types of Moroccan rugs and each one hails from different Berber tribes.
- Beni Ourain rugs are highly popular and come from 17 different tribes. They are well suited for trendy minimalist homes with their neutral bases and simple geometric patterns.
- Azilal rugs are single knotted and have a cream or off-white base with bright irregular patterns and high pile.
- Boujad rugs are usually pastel shades of red, purple and orange, and have geometric patterns.
- Beni Mguild rugs feature purples, blues, reds and browns and usually have both a high pile and low pile side.
- Boucherouite rugs are known for being heavy and multicolored. They can be made of materials such as cotton, nylon and lurex.
- Mrirt rugs are very functional and their soft wool resists stains, reduces sounds and is partially retardant to fire.
- Zanafi rugs are a flat weave in a neutral color with a bordering fringe.
Most of these cultures make their rugs from wool, although traditional pieces may be made from scrap fabrics in a deliberately bohemian, or hippie, style.
A handmade Moroccan rug can be used as a blanket, seat cover, saddle blanket and tapestry. Kilim-style (pileless) rugs are often better fits for your walls or as an accent blanket due to their lightweight nature.
What to look for in a quality Moroccan rug
A quality Moroccan rug is 100% sheep’s wool unless it is a Boucherouite product. It will have a unique design with imperfect patterns and will be advertised as a vintage textile.
A traditional and quality Moroccan rug is woven from 100% sheep’s wool. Most Berber tribes use this type of wool, although the pile will vary based on the region. Tribes in warmer areas tend to make flat-weave pieces, while tribes in cold places make high-pile rugs. People from the Beni Mguild tribes make rugs with both piles, flipping them over as seasons change.
Mass-produced Moroccan rugs are cheaper than a handmade original design and often contain synthetic materials such as nylon and Olefin fiber.
These handwoven rugs are never exactly alike. Weavers craft them from memory and do not follow formal instructions.
How it is advertised
You can tell if a piece is authentic by looking for certain buzzwords in its description, such as “vintage” and “fire-resistant.” As wild as it may sound, a quality Moroccan rug should be resistant to fire. These rugs will also be expensive, even at a small size, marking them as a one-of-a-kind work of art.
Care and maintenance
Keeping your one-of-a-kind Moroccan rug clean will keep the patterns vibrant even after years of use. Regularly vacuum, but first remove the beater bar (the rotating brush in your vacuum nozzle) to protect the handwoven fibers. You can carefully wash the top of the rug with baking soda or mild detergent to remove odors and stains. If you have pets, spraying the carpet with a little vinegar may keep them from playing with stray fibers or fringe.
How much you can expect to spend on a Moroccan rug
An authentic Moroccan rug costs $150-$4,500 or $10-$25 per square foot.
Moroccan rug FAQ
Why would a wool rug shed?
A. If your wool rug is new, it is normal to shed for the first few weeks. However, if it continues to shed for months, it was poorly made with synthetic fabrics that will not last. If you are sure your rug is an authentic and vintage product, it may be infested with moths.
How can you tell if a rug is vintage?
A. A vintage rug will have a gritty backing from years of use and the color may be faded.
What’s the best Moroccan rug to buy?
Top Moroccan rug
What you need to know: This is an off-white vintage rug with dark diamond patterns.
What you’ll love: This handmade piece is made from 100% sheep’s wool in the Atlas Mountains of Morocco. It can be personalized with tassels and fringes on any and all sides of the rug.
What you should consider: It can take up six weeks to ship.
Where to buy: Sold by Etsy
Top Moroccan rug for the money
What you need to know: This is a wool rug with an off-white base and thin, dark designs.
What you’ll love: This Moroccan rug is made from lamb’s wool and can be ordered with or without tassels. The rug will be cleaned and inspected before shipment with no extra upcharge.
What you should consider: It can take three to four weeks to produce.
Where to buy: Sold by Etsy
Worth checking out
What you need to know: This is a light-beige wool rug with white and black diamond patterns.
What you’ll love: This rug is all-natural and is made from 100% sheep’s wool without dyes. It is hand-knotted and comes in many sizes.
What you should consider: It can take four to eight weeks to produce.
Where to buy: Sold by Etsy
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Gwen Swanson writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
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