A Berber carpet is a carpet … of character! Yes, between its particular patterns and its handcrafted manufacture, the Berber carpet is an object of decoration which has a history and brings a touch of exoticism to its interior. To choose yours, we tell you all about its origins and its maintenance.
WHAT IS A BERBER CARPET?
Spontaneously, we would like to answer: “it is a carpet of any beauty”! But you may have already noticed it… And if we tell you that it comes to us from the Berbers, you can imagine!
So let’s go for more revelations: the Berber carpet finds its origins in North Africa and more particularly in the Atlas Mountains in Morocco. For centuries (yes, it would go back to the Paleolithic era), it is traditionally made by women, on looms. Each piece is therefore unique, a true work of art and know-how.
Before, it was placed on the ground or used as a blanket in tents, to bring a little warmth in the evening, when temperatures became very cold! Now, as a real decorative object, it also decorates our cozy interiors.
Why is its manufacture in the hands of women? Because in the past, the Berber carpet was part of the wedding dowry. It was therefore a gift, a carpet with a story. Today, it continues to be part of the trousseaux but not only! Its art is taught in schools. Its production has become a little more “industrialized” to become a source of income. This is why it is more easily available for sale. But be careful, to be authentic, a Berber carpet must always be handmade.
WHAT ARE THE CHARACTERISTICS OF A BERBER CARPET?
Its patterns! They are what make the success of Berber carpet in decoration. To reveal everything, they evoke religious symbols or beliefs, represent emblems of different tribes, carry messages of Berber culture or even tell the life of the young woman who designed it! They are transmitted from generation to generation, from mother to daughter and its manufacture respects a whole ritual. A bit like a heritage… Another reason to find it precious! If we had to summarize the forms, we could speak about zigzags, crosses, chevrons, checkerboards, arrows, rhombuses, triangles… the whole imaging waves, butterflies, snakes, beetles or scorpions, plants, Fatma’s hand, the protective eye… A real “progr-âme”!
Traditionally, the Berber carpet is made of sheep wool. The latter is knotted, woven and / or embroidered according to the desired result, then dyed with natural pigments. The most widespread Berber carpets are :
The Beni Ouarain carpet: black or brown patterns (often lines, rhombuses, triangles) on an unbleached background. The wool is quite thick and can reach up to 3cm!
Azilal carpets: the wool is shorter and the patterns are more colorful.
The Kilim carpet: woven and/or embroidered (but never knotted!), it is lighter and more rigid.
The Boucherouite rug: a more humble version of the Berber rugs. Made from recycled fabrics, they offer a very attractive pop or art deco style!
Afterwards, nothing prevents you from falling for a “Berber style” or “Berber spirit” carpet. More affordable in terms of price, it will respect the graphic codes and the softness but not necessarily the material, nor the handcrafted manufacture. One thinks in particular of the versions in cotton or synthetic textile fibers of the polypropylene type. Nec plus ultra of resistance, the latter also have the advantage of being anti-dust mite and anti-allergenic!
Green beni Ouarain carpet$525
Blue Moroccan royal carpet$2,500
Beni Ouarain Moroccan Berber carpet + Free Handmade leather bag | 260 x 152cmProduct on sale
HOW TO INTEGRATE A BERBER CARPET IN ITS DECORATION?
Very easily! Yes, the Berber carpet comes in so many patterns and softness that it finds its place in all styles of decoration. Another strong point: it can be placed everywhere! In the entrance, under the coffee table or dining table, at the foot of the bed … Even in the bathroom!
The proof in a few examples:
Industrial decoration: it gives softness. It remains in the tones of the living room but the softness of the wool will balance the coldness of the metal.
Ethnic decor: it will be the “escape” touch. Choose a carpet with more original patterns and reliefs (bright colors, varieties of lines, tassels, bangs …) that will confirm the “local color” of the foreign country.
Scandicraft decor: it becomes the perfect element to inject craftsmanship into your interior. Everything you need!
Vintage decor: we choose a carpet that has already lived, a little eliminated and in shades chamarrée …
Design decoration: a carpet without fringe with more graphic patterns to accentuate the aesthetic side.
Bohemian chic decor: we dare the multicolored and thick creations. Perfect for the nomadic spirit!
Contemporary decor: in a refined atmosphere, it becomes the master piece to bring a bit of coziness. We prefer the black and white versions, sober.
The tip in +:
We sometimes see Berber rugs on the wall. This is another beautiful way to display it. Depending on its size, it becomes a picture, a headboard … It can even delimit a space!
HOW TO MAINTAIN A BERBER CARPET ?
Very easily…. there too! Decidedly, to adopt a Berber carpet in its decoration presents many assets!
In general, the wool Berber carpet is robust. It will resist to dust, crumbs… A regular vacuuming without using the brush, or rubbing and hop! This simple maintenance allows to preserve its brightness and its softness. And if small fluffy bits appear while doing this, don’t panic, it’s perfectly normal: the carpet “deburries” and it’s just the excess fibers that get away!
From time to time, you can also sprinkle it with a little baking soda and let it act for 2 hours before vacuuming: the baking soda will absorb the light traces.
A more visible stain? We act quickly!
Start by absorbing the stain with a paper towel.
Using a clean cloth, dab the area with soapy water.
Let air dry if you can. Otherwise, on the floor, laying a tarp underneath.
If your carpet is made of wool blend or synthetic material, check the care label, but it’s a safe bet that the techniques remain the same.
The tip in +:
Never put your Berber carpet in the washing machine! Instead, we offer him a maintenance at a professional (once every 2 years).
These tips and tricks make you want to adopt a Berber carpet in decoration? Already done? How do you choose a carpet? Share your opinions and experiences in the comments!