postheadericon The Making of Beni Ourain Rugs

Beni Ourain Rugs: Their History and Origin

With their stark geometry of clear black lines, diamonds, or chevrons on a snow-white background, Beni Ourain rugs might be easily mistaken for modernist art. Beni Ourain carpets, however, are an ancient part of Moroccan culture and their clean, linear designs reflect a signature style for specific tribes and even specific families. Beni Ourain rugs stand out for their simplicity and luxury.

The symbols of the Moroccan Berber rug tell the stories of a family’s or tribe’s migration or honor different seasons and festivals. Made of natural sheep’s wool or camel hair, these beautiful rugs are meant to last a lifetime and are often passed down through the generations. In the Atlas mountains of Morocco, women of the Berber tribes who have learned the art of rug-making from their mothers and grandmothers weave these beautiful handicrafts by hand to pass on to their daughters to treasure as heirlooms or to sell as a personal enterprise to support their extended families.

The Uses of a Beni Ourain Rug

Beni Ourain rugs are beautiful in their clean, clear focus. There’s a calm precision and control in a pattern of black lines against a white field, but the artistry of the rugs has a hand-drawn feel that softens geometric designs that might otherwise seem too straight-edged and harsh. The result is a handmade design that has personality, precision, and even a touch of the whimsical.

It’s not surprising that the French modernist architect Le Corbusier introduced the rest of the world to the beautiful Moroccan Berber rug tradition, as these carpets look surprisingly contemporary. Fluffy and soft beneath the feet, Beni Ourain rugs work amazingly well with a variety of house styles and designs ranging from traditional to cutting-edge modern. It would be easy to envision this rug in a minimalist loft in Manhattan as well as an antique Victorian in San Francisco or an exposed-beam Pueblo house in Santa Fe.

The geometric lines of the Beni Ourain rugs help ground the overall look of a room decorated with one of these beautiful rugs as its centerpiece. At the same time, the black and white simplicity of the colors doesn’t dominate and overwhelm the milieu in which the carpet has been placed. Instead, the Beni Ourain rug centers the room without taking it over.
Luxurious Lines

Though Beni Ourain rugs are lovely to look at, the real sensual indulgence of these luxurious carpets can only be appreciated with bare feet. Thick, fluffy strands wrap your toes in wool and warmth, softening cold floors and inviting you to sit and enjoy a winter fireplace or a Sunday afternoon in the sunshine. The Beni Ourain adds softness and texture to a room, playing well with geometric floors or clean-edged furniture. Even in monochromatic interiors, the soft fluff of the Beni Ourain carpet is that single perfect touch.

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