View our current selection of vintage Moroccan rugs below:
The Most Beautiful Collection Of True Vintage Moroccan Rugs In The World
Moroccan Rugs – At the Nazmiyal Collection of Antique Rugs, we are proud to present some of the best and most beautiful vintage rugs and carpets from Morocco ever assembled in one collection. For the last 20 years, we have searched and traveled through small villages and the harsh Atlas mountains to find the most desirable and unique collection of vintage Moroccan rugs.
This unique quality, combined with lower more affordable cost, is the reason why Moroccan rugs continue to remain popular with rug lovers and collectors today!
Morocco is very much famous for their rugs. The colorful Moroccan rugs tend to boast dynamic colors, fascinating designs and bold geometric patterns. Today, the Moroccan rug is one the industry’s hottest design trend. Each piece is a sliver of history, a slice of true folk art, and is an heirloom that may be passed down for generations.
Though their earliest existence only dates back to the mid-nineteenth century, the vintage Moroccan rugs, from North Africa, have withstood the test of time and have earned their social status with the ever-changing interior design world.
The Moroccan rugs are the birth-child of a cross between central and western Turkish rugs during the mid 1800’s. Notoriously distinct for their geometric designs, the Moroccan rug features bold designs that differ from traditional traditional Persian rugs adding an element of timelessness.
Moroccan rug designs remind me of a precursor to the designs stemmed from the Bauhaus movement, which also featured strong geometry and popping color palettes. These versatile bad boys are great statement pieces that will withstand the test of time regardless of changing trends in the design field.
The Moroccan rugs have become “the rug of choice” for many interior designers as well as private consumers. They don’t have a long history but are most notable for their dynamic colorful modernist designs as well as for their strong sense of geometric structure (and abstract designs). None so far have been dated to before the mid nineteenth century, when their production began as an adaptation of central and western Turkish rugs, whose repertoire was followed closely by the weavers in Morocco.
The Moroccan rugs are, nevertheless, distinctive in their coloration and in the more block-like geometry of their composition.
Learning about the different styles and types of Moroccan rugs and carpets
Morocco is a country rich in history and cultural diversity. From the native Amazigh tribes of the Atlas Mountain to the African, Arab and Jewish influences, Morocco is renowned for its architecture, food and of course area rugs.
While Moroccan rugs are well known, people are sometimes unclear as to which designs are actually Moroccan. Here we will list the various types of Moroccan rugs and detail their origins and particular styles.
What Are The Different Types Of Moroccan Rugs?
For starters, what is a Moroccan rug?
A Moroccan rug is a type of handwoven textile traditionally made by the indigenous Berber people of North Africa, particularly in Morocco. These rugs are highly valued for their unique designs, craftsmanship, and cultural significance. Moroccan rugs have gained popularity worldwide and are sought after for their beauty and versatility in interior design.
Key characteristics of Moroccan rugs include:
- Materials: Moroccan rugs are typically made from high-quality, natural materials such as wool, camel hair, or a combination of both. The use of natural fibers gives these rugs their softness, durability, and insulation properties.
- Weaving Technique: Moroccan rugs are handwoven by skilled artisans using a traditional weaving technique. The most common type of weaving used is the flat-weave or pile-less technique, where the weft threads are tightly woven into the warp threads to create a flat surface.
- Geometric Designs: Moroccan rugs are known for their bold and geometric designs, often featuring simple shapes like diamonds, triangles, or zigzags. These patterns are a reflection of the Berber culture and their connection to nature and the surrounding landscape.
- Neutral Color Palette: Traditional Moroccan rugs typically feature a neutral color palette, with colors like ivory, cream, brown, and black being common. The use of natural dyes contributes to the soft and earthy tones found in these rugs.
- Symbolism and Storytelling: Some Moroccan rugs incorporate symbols and motifs that hold cultural and symbolic significance within the Berber communities. These symbols often convey stories, beliefs, and aspects of daily life.
- Tribal and Vintage Appeal: Moroccan rugs often carry a sense of history and tradition, making them appealing to collectors and those seeking unique and vintage pieces for their homes.
The versatility of Moroccan rugs allows them to fit well into various interior design styles, from bohemian and eclectic to modern and minimalist. They can be used as decorative floor coverings, wall hangings, or even draped over furniture to add warmth and texture to a space. Their timeless beauty, cultural significance, and artisanal craftsmanship have made Moroccan rugs highly prized and treasured by design enthusiasts and collectors worldwide.
Vintage Moroccan Azilal Rugs
Azilals are tribal rugs from the central Moroccan province of Azilal. Handwoven by Berber women, these rugs are similar to Beni Ourain in their plushness and heavy pile. Where they differ is their colors. Azilals typically incorporate more geometric shapes and multiple colors of wool tainted with vegetable dyes. If you want the design of a Beni Ourain with a bit more spunk and spice, then Azilals are the rugs for you.
Vintage Moroccan Beni Ourain Rugs
Beni Ourain rugs are 100% sheepskin wool rugs handmade by Beni Ourain tribes in the Moroccan Atlas Mountains. Traditionally cream in color with large lozenges or other berber insignia, some more rare Benis can be found in colours such as turquoise and taupe. These rugs are very trendy due to their timeless and minimalist look. In fact they were admired by designer such as LeCorbusier who liked to juxtapose his leather furniture with Beni Ourains, and Frank Lloyd Wright, who had them all over his famous home in Chicago. Other variations include Beni Mririt rugs.
Vintage Moroccan Boucherouite Rugs
Boucherouite Moroccan rugs are made out of recycled materials. These echo friendly Moroccan rugs, handmade by the Berber carpet weavers (generally women) have become increasingly popular thanks in no small part to their charm and bright colors. These rugs are truly one of a kind.
Vintage Moroccan Kilim Rugs
Yes, you read right. Even though flat woven Kilims are typically associated with Romanian or Turkish rugs Morocco also produces gorgeous Kilims. These vintage rugs are flat woven meaning they appear thinner and not as soft as other wool rugs. Kilims have no pile. What they do have are awesome designs and colors. Specifically, Moroccan Kilims fits in many interior decors, from Moroccan, to California Boho chic.
Kilims are typically more affordable than other types of Moroccan rugs and in warm weather can function as indoor / outdoor area rugs.
Vintage Moroccan Boujad Rugs
Boujad rugs are those very colorful (and very trendy) rugs in purples,oranges and pinks. Also popular as poufs, these rugs hail from the middle Atlas Mountains.
Vintage Moroccan Rabat Rugs (R’Bati)
Typically in bright reds and blues and sometimes green or purple, these rugs are from the city of Rabat, the capital of Morocco. The rugs often contain a large diamond or multi diamond motif in the center, and designs on the contour enclosing a plain area.
Today, these types of Moroccan rugs are less popular however you can still find them in houses of upper class families in Morocco and the Moroccan diaspora.
Where to buy Vintage Moroccan Rugs?
Nazmiyal Collection has one of the largest collections of vintage Moroccan rugs for sale. We hand pick every single piece and for every carpet we buy, we rejected at least 80. Curating such a comprehensive collection of the best Moroccan rugs is not easy and quite time consuming.
But the results speak for themselves as we have assembled one of the most impressive collection of the real vintage carpets from Morocco. Brows our collection of Moroccan rugs online before buying and fell free to ask questions or have additional detailed images sent to you before you make your purchase.
Luckily, even the best handmade Moroccan rugs are still very much affordable.
Where does Nazmiyal find it’s Moroccan rugs and carpets?
Nazmiyal Collection has sourced handmade Moroccan rugs from the more isolated areas of the Atlas Mountains. We searched far and wide for the last true vintage and antique rugs woven by these nomadic tribes. We take pride in the fact that our collection is one of the most comprehensive in the world and contains many of the best original decorative pieces from Morocco. We give all of our love and effort in order to offer you the best pieces available at the best possible value.
How Were The Vintage Moroccan Rugs Made?
Morocco is a beautiful country situated in the northwestern tip of Africa, is famous for its beautiful beaches, traditional music, delectable cuisine, colorful history and most importantly, its stunning hand-woven rugs.
But to Western rug lovers, Morocco means hand-woven tribal rugs, which are highly prized by collectors in the West for their exotic beauty characterized by simplistic patterns and a variety of colors.
Moroccan rugs have been traditionally woven by the indigenous tribal people for use in their home and tents, rather than for decorative purposes. The weavers are almost always untrained and lack any formal artistic training. Owing to this fact, Moroccan rugs have a distinct primitivism about them, providing them with an almost childlike charm to them. It is truly the power of their simplicity and their beauty that makes them so appealing.
Morocco has about 45 different tribes spread across geographical regions that vary from the cold Atlas Mountains to the hot Sahara desert. Nomadic Moroccans and Berber tribes have been making rugs to use as tent sides, bed coverings, sleeping mats, burial shrouds, saddle blankets, and as a pastime tracing back to many generations ago.
Are Moroccan Rugs Good Quality?
The rugs woven in Morocco were not finely woven. They are far more tribal in nature and as such, they never needed to weave fine carpets with intricate patterns.
What Are The Weaving Textures Of Moroccan Rugs?
The rugs made in Morocco will vary from being very thick with a heavy pile, to flat woven as well as some that incorporate both pile and kilim weaves.
Since the designs are usually passed down through the generations in a rug weaving family, each tribe has developed its own distinctive design with varying weaving and embroidery styles. Over the centuries, Moroccan rug weavers have borrowed techniques from all over the Middle East and North Africa.
However, they have a few common weaving styles that can be divided into three main categories:
1. Knotted – To weave a knotted rug, a secure base is first created by laying a few rows of weft threads across the warp. A weft yarn is then slipped around the rug warps, catching at least two warp threads, and the extra length is knotted across the width of the textile. A knotted pile rug is warm because it is fluffy and traps air between the yarns.
2. Flat weave – Flat weave rugs have no knots, so they are thinner and may feature more intricate designs. This process involves lacing strands of weft year in and year out of the warp threads and beating them down to make a close, even textile. This techniques is widely used by the nomadic tribes that live in the Sahara desert. One primitive style that is well-knows is the Oued Zem, which is characterized by bright colors and toy, animal or household motifs.
3. Weft substitution – This is a variation of flat weave that involves creating complicated patterns from the back of a loom using different colored weft threads. The color variation allows the weaver to build elaborate designs. Rug weft substitution is actually a descriptive term, as the technique has no specific name and is often confused with tapestry and similar weaving styles.
Unlike other antique oriental rugs that have elegant designs consisting of intricate patterns and motifs, Moroccan hand-woven tribal rugs have a more subtle elegance about them. Yet, it is the simplicity in design often found in these rugs that help them fit in wonderfully with modern decor.