Nevertheless, ‘Beni Ouarain’ is usually now used as a byword for all Moroccan black and white rugs; though, they aren’t the identical. Sadly their rising recognition has resulted in classic fakes, which bear few hyperlinks to the tribes who first created such distinct and distinctive carpets – bringing little profit to the Berber peoples of Morocco.
Beni Ouarain carpets have been first woven by the Berbers of Morocco’s north-eastern Center Atlas Mountains, and different neighbouring tribes. The ‘Beni Ouarain’ are the truth is a confederation of seventeen Berber tribes, who’re believed to have been residing within the area since way back to the ninth century. They produced these textiles for defense towards the chilly winters, and used carpets not as ground covers, however reasonably as beds and cosy sleeping mats. That’s the reason these rugs are lengthy, free, thick and versatile, and comparatively slim. They’re comfy sufficient to wrap round one’s physique for heat throughout the harsh wintery nights.
A traditional Beni Ouarain rugs design normally makes use of totally different combos of diamonds or lozenges on pure cream base with usually powerfully easy graphics. Nevertheless, the oldest Beni Ouarain carpets had extra wealthy designs and have been way more ornamental; as time has passed by the designs have turn out to be much less advanced.
These carpets started to draw a substantial amount of consideration within the 1920s and 30s – Le Corbusier, Alva Alto, and Frank Lloyd Wright used Beni Ouarain carpets. For many years, lots of the oldest, the perfect, and the rarest examples of carpet designs have been sought out and snapped up. It’s now very tough to seek out the previous, unique Beni Ouarains, and people which stay are rightly useful and treasured. Different tribes within the Atlas Mountains additionally weave cream and black carpets, and these are sometimes mistakenly known as Beni Ouarain.
So immediately, factories have begun producing fakes, which could be offered at low costs. Carpets, woven by girls who’re normally paid little or no and who use poor high quality wool and dyes, are washed and artificially aged with chemical compounds. Generally the wool is dyed a shiny white, damaging it within the course of.
So, how are you aware should you’re shopping for a stunning genuine Beni Ouarain?
An previous and unique piece will normally be lengthy, generally over 4m, and comparatively slim. Additionally, only a few classic tribal carpets will probably be in good situation, so look out for this as an indication of authenticity. If the carpet has actually been utilized in a Berber dwelling it’ll have indicators of its previous life – areas of low pile, marks, restoration, little patches the place candle wax has dripped, or the place girls have dropped a bit henna dye – these are all pure and welcome indicators of authenticity.
Beni Ouarain weavers primarily used wool from a selected breed of sheep, and in addition used a particular knotting method, that are additional indicators of an previous unique carpet. An previous piece is more likely to have a spontaneous and archaic lozenge-based design, usually that includes irregularities and particular design touches added by the weaver only for her carpet. A carpet woven by a girl for her personal use would have been crafted with care and pleasure, utilizing the perfect wool she might afford.