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History, Uses, And Benefits of Berber Rugs

Updated on April 19, 2016

A Brief History

Beni Ourain rugs are hand created by the Berber tribes who live in the northern areas in Africa. The rugs have been created and used for millennia throughout the Berber community and now the world.

Closeup Image

Detail Of Berber Rug
Detail Of Berber Rug | Source

As with all human cultures, the need for a warm, dry place to sleep has been a concern that has needed to be solved. The Berber rug was an easy solution to this problem because it is easy for the tribe to create and use in their homes. Some fabrics of the rugs can be traced back to the Paleolithic time period. The tribes would use their herds of sheep or goats to create the wool for the rugs, and then use the wool to make the rugs.

A History of the Beni Ourain

The Beni Ourain are a group of Berber tribes that live throughout Northern Africa, primarily in the Jbel Bou Iblane Mountain Range of Morocco. The Beni Ourain are mostly nomadic; part of the tribe works fields in the valley, while the other members wander through the mountains with their flocks of sheep.

The nomadic people use tents to shelter them as they travel to areas with good grazing for the sheep that make up a primary part of their livelihood. These sheep have a dense, woolen coat that protects them from the cold of the mountainous regions, and it is rare to find this breed of sheep anywhere outside of the care of the Berbers.

Until the mid 1900s, the Beni Ourain people remained within their mountain ranges, and they had little contact with the outside world. The isolated and nomadic culture of the Beni Ourain lead to a distinctive style of weaving that is used to create these valuable Berber rugs.

Berber Rug Detail

Geometric Shapes & Lines

As the rugs were created more and more by families, the uniqueness and character of the creators became another feature that accented the home. Some families used geometric shapes while others used lines that cross as designs in their rugs. Throughout the history of the Berber tribe and its people, the rugs have been a prominent defining characteristic of individualism and skill. Many of the shapes the Berber tribes used had a symbolic meaning to them.

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The Many Uses Of These Stunning Moroccan Rugs

More recently Berber rugs have been used in people's homes for their beauty and uniqueness. Because they are sold in many different geometric designs, people can choose the rug that is perfect for their house. As a modern convenience, these rugs can be purchased by worldwide customers through various market places and reputable websites.


They have many uses within a home and can be simply used on the floor as decoration that will be walked on and that would be the extent of its use. It can be used as a hall runner or to cover a complete room. Smaller versions can be used within a bathroom by the shower or counters. However, there are other ways to use them.

Uses Of Berber Rugs

  • Rug
  • Hallway Runner
  • Unique Wall-hanging
  • Framing it as a unique art piece


Hanging them on a wall as a full wall décor is another way to use it without getting it dirty. That would save the fibers and fabric from the wear and tear of being on the floor and being walked upon. It would also make for a great conversation starter because they are unique. The designs can be chosen by the client to represent their tastes, which will add to the décor of the house. Leaving it unframed would require putting holes into it, in order to hang it from the wall.

Framing it would allow you to add another touch of decoration with the frame. The glass of the frame would keep the rug safe from any damaging dust particles or staining food or drinks.

It can be incorporated into and office décor because it has great durability. It is resistant to staining and can be easily cleaned; making it ideal for areas that could see a lot of traffic. If it was hung on the wall, it would be a focal point as well. The design could be created to match the current décor or could be created to stand out among the décor - the decision is yours, but you can guarantee having one in your office would be a great conversation starter.

The Different Designs

Collection Of Berber Rugs
Collection Of Berber Rugs | Source

What Are The Benefits?

There are many advantages to owning one of these stunning pieces. Due to the uniqueness of each design, it is very pleasing to the eye, and each one will be totally unique to you. It can be used as a bold focal point.

The comfort aspect is a major factor; they are fluffy and gentle, and smooth and soft on bare feet. This factor is important when choosing the place where they will be because it will be a resting place for your guests. This aspect may be the deciding factor on whether to purchase a Berber rug, which will be comfortable, or to purchase a regular rug, which will wear out within a year or two.


Khenifra Carpet Market

The Benefits

The soft neutral shades and pleasing patterns of Moroccan Berber carpets make them suitable for a variety of decorating needs. The light colors work well in a room of neutrals or a room filled with color, and they look equally stylish in a room is full of eclectic pieces from many cultures or a room with sleek modern furniture.

Since they are so soft and warm, they are excellent for insulating a living room or bedroom floor during the winter. They do not just have to be used on the floor; smaller rugs with intricate patterns actually look incredible when hung on the wall as a form of art. Depending on your needs, you can get a statement piece that wows your guests or a more subtle pattern that perfectly complements every other item in the room.

© 2016 Nicholas Pole

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