Moroccan Rugs – Our Top 5 Styles and Where to Buy Rugs in Marrakech
Moroccan rugs are a particularly feminine art form. Traditionally made by Amazigh women, each tribe has its own style and colours that allow rug connoisseurs to immediately identify where the pieces hail from. Today, there are all sorts of imitations but the best pieces are still created using traditional techniques – from rearing and shearing sheep to hand-spinning and looming the wool.
There was a time when you couldn’t open Elle Decor without seeing a Beni Ourain rug splayed across a sleek Scandinavian or LA living room. Today these iconic white and black woollen rugs have morphed from trend to classic – adding texture to a pared-back interior, or a grounding splash of neutral to a more colourful one.
Bold and bright, these rag rugs look great layered one beside the other on the floor. They come in a kaleidoscope of colours and designs that use scraps of – usually cotton – material. It means they can be easily washed so they hide a multitude of sins and are a great option if you have a busy home.
Think of these as a splash of modern art for your floor. Azilals are woollen rugs that traditionally contained symbols woven into the rugs by the women who made them. Family history was therefore preserved for future generations. Bold geometric designs in bright colours are almost always set against a white or cream background.
We’re seeing more and more Zanafis in some of the chicest interiors. The subtle stripe design can do anything from toughen up florals to add a layer of texture in more monochrome rooms. They’re flat weave and always have a fringe. Traditionally, monochrome but newer varieties are getting more colourful and we love the hot pink version.
Usually woven in pinks, reds and oranges, Boujads are made in the Haouz region and the colour washes out in older vintage pieces to create gorgeous pastels. A Boujad can be low or high pile but will always add a beautifully earthy element to a room.
And the new kid on the block… Tuareg mats
These aren’t strictly Moroccan because they hail from the Mauritanian Sahara. But the new darling of Maroc-inspired interiors are widely available in Marrakech. Woven from reeds and palm fibres, decorated with geometric patterns and trimmed in goat leather, they’ll add an earthy element to your home.
Our top places to buy rugs:
Founded in 1940 by the Lamdaghri family, Bazar du Sud is still family-run today. Working with a team of more than 200 artisanal women weavers in the High Atlas mountains, their showroom in Sidi Ghanem is a feast of colour and texture.
Carpet king Soufiane Zarib’s (Riad Rue Laarous s/n) warehouse-style store is a treasure trove of every imaginable Moroccan carpet style and size. And when you’re done shopping, or if you just need a break, you can fuel up on coffee and brownies at his sleek rooftop café.
If you’re looking for antiques, Ben Rahal in Gueliz, has been going strong for 60 years and have a vast collection of mainly 20th century, hand-loomed carpets, many of which are museum quality.
If you love the Moroccan look but want to customise a new rug to fit your home, head to Beni Rugs. They honour age-old production techniques – but also allow you to select shape, colour and pattern. You can visit their showroom to see the loomers at work and decide exactly how you want to dress your floor.
At El Fenn, we are able to help you curate your stay. Let us know if you would like to meet the artisan rug makers and we can create a day of rug shopping for you. Please email us and let us know how we can help.
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