Moroccan Rugs 101: Beni Ourain

Moroccan Rugs 101: Beni Ourain

The Beni Ourain are a group of semi-nomadic Moroccan people, comprised of 17 different Berber tribes found among the country’s High Atlas Mountain range.

The Beni Ourain are primarily shepherds who have raised their livestock high in the mountains, and move their herds from one grazing land to the next. Because of the diversity of the seventeen different tribes that make up the Beni Ourain, there are fascinating and subtle differences in the patterns and design elements present in the rugs and carpets that they produce. While some Beni Ourain tribes have preferred colors–always utilizing natural dyes–other tribes prefer monochromatic design elements. 

Those rugs and carpets that are most broadly representative of the aesthetic of the Beni Ourain are those that boast geometric designs: black or brown lines that form shapes or diamond patterns. You’ll also see symbols that tell true stories from each weaver’s life. 

Beni Ourain rugs are hand-knotted from the hand-spun, lanolin-rich wool of an ancient breed of sheep found in Morocco’s Atlas Mountains. They are made from 100% sheep wool and are 100% un-dyed, aside from delicate lines of henna-like brown that are intertwined. They are characteristically produced from the excellent high quality wool that makes Beni Ourain rugs so special. These heirloom rugs are made for those who truly appreciate the natural world. Beni Ourain rugs are likely the most comfortable rugs you’ll encounter—the epitome of warmth and luxury!

At once minimalistic and tasteful, Beni Ourain rugs remain among the most desirable pieces today, and are sought the world over both by experts in antique rugs and everyday people who appreciate the lasting artisticvalue of such rugs!  Subtle variations in line thickness, imperfections in color, and the asymmetry of geometric designs are what lend these pieces such depth and character. Their neutral tones and elegant geometrical patterns make them one of the most loved by contemporary interior enthusiasts.  

Why We Love Them? The simplicity of their tribal designs makes them effortlessly adaptable into any of today’s interiors. Whether your style is eclectic and bohemian, minimal, or midcentury modern, you’ll find a Beni Ourain to fit your space! 

Beni Ourain’s Special Sheep In Morocco’s Atlas Mountains, a special species of sheep can be found. These smaller sheep are an ancient breed and produce the excellent high quality wool that makes Beni Ourain rugs so special. Our Sukhi rugs are also handcrafted from this special breed of sheep. 

Bring Home A Piece of Morocco’s Soul The lives of their makers are part of the rug-making process. Women usually weave these rugs and creatively infuse elements from their lives into the designs. Rugs may allude to births, fertility, nature or femininity.Completely Natural and Authentic Do you enjoy rugs from truly rural settings? Then you will appreciate Beni Ourain rugs! These magnificent rugs have a fascinating ability: they connect the long history of the nomadic Berber tribes with modern day interiors.

Bring a genuine piece of Morocco heritage into your home with a Beni Ourain rug, shop now @imarugs.