Moroccan Rugs 101: Azilal

Moroccan Rugs 101: Azilal

Azilals are tribal rugs from the central region of the Moroccan Atlas Mountains. Originating in the Tadla-Azilal province located in the remote, High Atlas Mountains, these rugs are produced by the Ait Bouzid, Ait Shokmane, Ait Bou Oulli and Ait Bougmez tribes.

Far rarer than the Beni Ourains, they often feature similar natural ebony diamond lattice designs on a neutral ivory/ cream background, but are distinguished by their abstract, colorful highlights. Handwoven by berber women, these rugs are similar to Beni Ourains in their plushness and heavy pile.

Where they differ is color. Azilals typically incorporate more geometric shapes and multiple colors of wool tinted with vegetable dyes. If you love the design of a Beni Ourain but are looking for a bit more spunk and spice, then Azilals are the rugs for you! 

Woven only by women of this region, Azilal rugs are made from virgin raw sheep’s wool. Weavers alternate composed patterns of one single knotted line and one or two woven lines, according to a cultural ritual that mothers pass down to daughters for generations. Weavers also incorporate the tribal signage of their ancestors to express major life events like a wedding or pregnancy, as well as more mundane happenings of daily rural life. 

Azilal rugs are sometimes associated with another name, “ Ourika”, which refers to all the rugs that are produced a little further South by the High Atlas Mountain tribes from Demnat North to Imlil south, covering thus the entire mountainous region of Ait Ourir, Ourika Valley and the Oukaimden park. 

It was not until the1990s that the world beyond Morocco learned of Azilal rugs. At the time, these artistically abstract rugs were created for personal, domestic use and were not for sale in the local Berber rug markets.

Today, this style of weaving is recognized as a high art form by Moroccan carpet connoisseurs. Ranging from colorful loose patterns to neutral toned lattice designs, these one-of-a-kind rugs are a fun alternative to a Beni Ourain carpet. 


You can check out our collection of stunning Azilal rugs at or our instagram @imarugs!