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Moroccan Berber Rugs : The "Berber Style"

Recognizing the fake Moroccan Berber Rug


 The Moroccan Berber Rug is an integral part of the country's culture . We find the urban Rug or the rural carpet in all the interiors of Morocco.


Moroccan berber rug beni ouaraine blog

 At the same time it is considerated as object of decoration and element of comfort, the woolen Berber Rug is one of the jewels of the Moroccan craftsmanship.

 However, the « Moroccan Berber style » used in this rural industry is often a subject to the imitation throughout the world .

 True decorative objects, the Authentic Moroccan Berber rugs are copied by the European industry. In all the decoration stores, you will find fake Moroccan berber rugs. Beni Ouarain wool Rugs are particularly copied. Many decorating brands sell Rugs in a "Berber style". It is therefore important to distinguish the true from the false rural Rug.

Authentic Moroccan Berber Rugs are unique pieces made in a totally artisan handmade way. The manufacture of Berber Rugs is originally intended for domestic use in the purest Moroccan tradition. To be sure of having in your hands an authentic Moroccan Berber Rug, turn the object over. The knotting on the back should be necessarily irregular. The real Berber Rug also has a fringe. It serves to finish the Rug.

 The Moroccan Berber Rug has a silky wool and pleasant to the touch. The Moroccan carpets are made of virgin 100% organic and natural wool.

Imitations of affordable ethnic Rugs are usually made of wool and synthetic materials such as polypropylene, nylon, acrylic, polyester, viscose. Polypropylene, also called "synthetic wool", is the fiber most used in the manufacture of Berber style Rugs. Some sellers offer Rugs made in this cheap material using the term "Berber style" carpet seller.

moroccan berber rug back side blog

To recognize a real Moroccan Berber Rug in wool of a synthetic carpet "Berber style", there is a trick. You can do the test yourself. Burn a string of Rug. In the presence of a real Rug Moroccan wool, it does not ignite. Otherwise, it is a fake Berber Rug, made of synthetic material

The “Berber style” rug is cheaper than the real Berber Rug


Let us first distinguish the fake Berber Rugs that make the effort to be woolen from those made of polypropylene. For polypropylene , there is no picture. For a fake Beni Ouaraine of 2m x 2.9m in polypropylene you will pay 270 $ all taxes inclusive  excluding promotion and free shipping. That is less than 55 $ per square meter. As saying that we do not know how to do this with the real Beni Ouaraine  new or vintage virgin wool first mowing.

The wool is industrial, probably coming from New Zealand, and does not have as much charm or silky as the artisanal one of a vintage beni ouaraine. But it's wool and it goes. Some new Rugs made in Morocco are surely made with factory wool can be imported. It's a bit like Corsican pork meats made with Breton pork. It's cheaper, it's not bad ... It's just worse ... It's the same, we can not say that the Rug is ugly, it would be dishonest. It's just that I find it unattractive, dare I say without a soul. 

The occultation of the weavers

The case of some luxury Berber Rugs aside, the phenomenon of exploitation extends to the international level where the buyers are not ready to pay the Moroccan Berber Rugs according to the quantity and the quality of work materialized in the said Rug. By looking for a low price, the occidental buyer considers the value of his own work (salary) as superior to the value of the work of the woman of a country of the 'South' . For example, in the face of the prices offered in stores like Ikea, one can only wonder about what comes back to the producers when the selling price does not even seem to cover the cost of the raw material. The difference between the average values of the labor force from one country to another and the disparity between two economies allows merchants to make a big gain. In addition, Moroccan weavers are competing with the underpaid labor of countries like India or Tibet.

So,..where to buy an Authentic  Moroccan Berber Rug?

To go alone to the Authentic Berber Rug hunt in a souk in Morocco, you have to arm yourself with patience. Negotiations are often very difficult. Also watch out for the fake old Berber Rug that flowers on the souks of Morocco. It is made from synthetic materials and machined abroad.

The other solution is to go to a women's cooperative in the villages of the Atlas. Berber Rugs are then made to order. It is a solidarity trade, more profitable to the weaver. Berber women's cooperatives include the “Ouzguiti Artisanal Rugs Cooperative” in Ouarzazate city center (website : or going to the High Atlas tribes in the mountains. The latter cooperative ( Ouzguiti Artisanal Rugs Cooperative ) manufactures Kilim Rugs, to be used as floor mats or wall decoration.


Author :  J.Rodi

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