Beni Ourain

Styles of Moroccan Rugs

Antique Azilal rug, 8.39 ft x 4.69 ft

Moroccan rugs are woven carpets, woven by the indigenous Moroccans in Morocco as the first Neolithic civilization. Traditionally, Moroccans have woven rugs for their utility rather than for ornamental purposes. However, the use of ornamentation in the modern Moroccan rugs has increased. Today these rugs have become collector pieces that are considered works of art. They capture the spirit of Moroccan culture and depict the unique artistic and craftsmanship of the Moroccan people.

Moroccan rugs


There are many different types of Moroccan rugs. Some of the popular types include the Berber Rug, the Aztec Rug, the Shawrama Rug, the Khayyma Rug, the Mughal Rug, the Tibetan Rug, the Nepali Rug, the Chinese Rug and the Tibetan Rug. All of these varieties can be classified according to their weaving technique, color patterns and their general design.


The major variety is the Berber Rug, which is named after the Berber tribe of Morocco. Berber means ‘of the black soil’ in Arabic. The texture and color of this type of Moroccan rugs are soft and luxurious resulting from the black soil of the region. The greatest benefit of using a Berber rug is that it is very easy to clean. Cleaning is relatively simple due to its flat woven structure.


The Aztec and Shawarma rugs are also called Berber or Black River Rugs because of their characteristic dark brown and black colors. These Moroccan rugs were originally made for use as floor coverings. The wool pile of these rugs was very thick and it was ideal for making floor covers and was often told tale that these rugs came from the town of Aztec, Mexico. Another interesting characteristic of these rugs is their large size, which was most often dependent on how many people lived in a certain area. They were often put under seating covers in homes to make the seating more comfortable during hot weather.


Khayyma Moroccan Rugs: These rugs were created by the famous Berber tribesmen of Morocco. The khayyma means “spiral string” in Arabic. They were used as decorative wall hangings and were highly valued for their distinctive style and beautiful designs. In addition to these distinctive traits, the Khayyma was also commonly used as a rug for interior decoration. Their intricate knot designs are some of the most well-known abstract designs in the world today.


Makhaira Moroccan Rugs: The Makhaira is another common type of Moroccan rugs which were popular during the time of the Egyptians. They are named after the desert which gave them their name. This style was often told tale that these rugs had originally been made for the flooring of the desert. They have the same bold patterns as the Khayyma and are ideal seating covers for desert settings. They can come in a wide array of colors, which makes them perfect for any room of the house.


Tabriz and Kerman Persian Carpets: These two types of Moroccan rugs share many of the same characteristics including their intricate, knot-patterned designs, but the Tabriz and Kerman carpet styles differ in their appearance. Tabriz rugs feature vertical patterns which are usually dark-colored while the Kerman style features lighter colored patterns. Tabriz and Kerman carpets often feature motifs that incorporate plants, animal skin or leather.


Berber Rugs: The Berber is another style of Moroccan rugs. They originate from the Sahara Desert in Morocco and are known for the smooth, shiny texture and vibrant colors which are common. The key difference between the berber and other Moroccan styles is the use of an alphabet to form their patterns. For example, the shawls would be made with two rugs, while the color of the central rug would be the same throughout the pattern. This adds a great level of variety to these rugs and makes them a perfect choice for decorating with any motif.

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