The Handmade Rug From The Atlas Mountains – The Beni Ourain Rug
Rugs were among the first pieces of functional art that humans developed, and the modern Berber rug is a part of that ancient tradition. The modern rugs are still woven by hand with traditional techniques, and the patterns that decorate them draw on tribal traditions that date back centuries. The Beni Ourain rug remains popular with modern designers in spite of its ancient origins, so everyone should try to understand the rugs and how they can be used in a home.
These rugs stand out due to their unique construction. Unlike most modern rugs, they are made from natural wool, which contributes to their comfort and durability. Many of the weavers choose to retain the natural color of the wool when they are making their rug. The lighter wool forms the bulk of the rug, with darker fibers forming the patterns. Other weavers use traditional dyes to add color to the rugs, or even use a combination of both techniques to create complex designs.
Those unique patterns are another of the defining features of the Beni Ourain rug. They tend to employ geometric patterns that use a variety of simple lines and shapes to create a complex pattern from basic components. The vast majority of the patterns draw on traditional designs that have been associated with individual tribes or settlements for centuries. That makes each rug part of a living artistic tradition, and people who are familiar with the rugs can sometimes trace the heritage of each example by looking at the traditional components.
The combination of these two factors makes the Berber rug unique. Their decorative patterns are intimately tied to the cultural heritage of the Berber people, so it is almost impossible to find a rug that looks similar and comes from a different place. The use of wool gives them a uniquely comfortable texture and ensures that they can keep a room insulated. That uniqueness informs the way that designers use the rugs.
Berber rugs began as practical tools that could keep people comfortable in a harsh environment. Modern homes are much more comfortable than ancient ones, but they still have a place for the traditional rug.
Most people choose them for their visual appeal. They look much more natural than other rugs, so they can add some contrast and a sense of comfort to rooms that are full of artificial materials and mass produced furniture. They can also be useful in a room that is full of wooden furniture, plants, or other natural materials. In that case, they are one of the only ways to get a rug that won’t look out of place when surrounded by other natural products.
At a practical level, they are used in offices, near entrances, or in other rooms that see a lot of traffic. Their natural durability will ensure that they hold up longer under those conditions than other rugs. It is possible to combine both of these roles, and designers often do so to create a functional and attractive room.