So you have your eye on a rug. The website you've been scouring through says this wonderful rug is a "Moroccan styled rug" with stunning "Moroccan patterning". The rug instantly transports you to the pages of "Vogue Living" magazine where stylish interiors are littered with rugs like these, however (inserts long pause) reading on in the description, the small print tells you its made in China.
Hold on there, made in China, India, Vietnam, insert whichever locale calls to hand. It begs one to ask, how can it be a "Moroccan rug" if its made in China?
That's exactly right, if its not from there, then its really not from there.
Moroccan rugs have an essence and intrinsic value to them that reproduced imitations can not replicate. It may look like a "pattern" that is Moroccan, but if you've ever experienced the beauty of a genuine Berber wool rug under your feet, then you know exactly what I mean when I say, there is no comparison to the real thing.
Quite simply, a Moroccan rug is a Moroccan rug. Its not a style, its a location that lets you say a rug is a Moroccan rug.
Beware of those portraying to be otherwise as you may like the rug, but for authenticities sake, you want the real thing. In fact the value of an authentic vintage Moroccan Rug only increase over time and compared to a replica which looses it's value the minute you place it on the floor.
"Well what is the real thing you say?"
There's so many techniques that manufacturers use today to give you that "look" that Moroccan rugs have become synonymous with, using machines they're able to replicate patterns, colours and styles and even give it a vintage, hand knotted texture. But they are never the same.
Infact comparing a real Moroccan rug, with an imitation rug you will quickly see and "FEEL" the difference.
Feel the rug, if it's not silky soft then, the chances are it's not genuine.
The life essence that oozes from a handmade, Moroccan rug is worlds apart from a machined replica.
For instance, the black diamonds of a classic Beni Ourain, is derived from black sheep's wool, with no chemical dyes or man made fibers used.
Boujaad and Zemmour rugs, are famous for there beautifully rich tones derived from foods such as pomegranates, beets and berries and even from henna or flora that is sourced from the lands and crops of the regions they're made. The colours produced are usually variated and inconsistent and is a true tell tale that it's all natural dyes.
There's nothing more regional then a Moroccan rug, quite often the various styles are named after the specific regions they are made.
In the colder harsher climates you will find the thicker pile rugs such a Beni Ourain and Azilal rugs and in areas where the temperatures soar such as the desert scapes, you'll find the lighter flatweave kilim style ones such as Zanafi rugs.
And those rugs were originally made for pure necessity, you can feel the depth, weight and density to the lush pile with one touch.
For whimsy, you will usually find Boucherouite rugs, which are made all over Morocco. But these are usually artfully unleashed and free form, and far from perfectly measured, another tell tale sign is authentic.
With this understanding it is then a strange concept to grasp a rug being titled as a "Moroccan Style Rug" knowing replicas are from a place other then Morocco.
To help you select the right Moroccan rug, here's a few pointers to help you "Pick a real Moroccan Rug"...
These are handwoven flat weave rugs and can come from many regions of Morocco. The technique usually uses geometric detailed Berber patterning which is often a way of discerning where it is made.
Colours can also span from black and white neutrals such as Zanafi style rugs, to bright rich reds and even pastel toned newer style flatweave Boucherouite rugs.
Kilims have a low pile and yet can still be very soft and supple underfoot. Usually made of wool, vintage kilim rugs are sometimes repurposed as "kilim cushions".
Infact you would've been living under a rock if you haven't seen how popular these gorgeous kilim cushions and rugs have become. As favourite decore staples within the Transitional, Mid-century Modern or Bohemian Chic interiors.
Hand-knotted rugs and often made with recycled clothing and other such humble textiles. The makers will often make a rug from a loved ones clothing to give it special significance.
These Boucherouite rugs are the most accessible to all, as they are made to be used as an everyday rug and because theyre often made from humble means.
However its the bright colours and whimsical patterns that make these rugs a consistent favourite across the globe, they are perfect for giving an interior a pop of colour and life.
BENI OURAIN RUGS
These are possibly the most well known of the various Moroccan rugs. Often called just "Beni Rugs" or "Berber rugs" the distinctive monotone black and white palate is as pure a rug as they come.
Originally made to be bedding, blankets or seating, the soft thick pile has lead this rug to be nicknamed "The Most Comfortable Rug In The World".
Touted since the 1930's as an Architects rug of choice, it still has that same impact and recently has become the style of rug most imitated and replcated by mass manufacturing.
Above, Frank Lloyd Wright designed home from the 1930s.
Authenticity is a challenging aim, with factors such as pricing, accessibility and availability playing an important role upon the decision to purchase a rug.
It is after all an investment and you want to be sure your getting something that ticks ALL your boxes.
With a real Moroccan rug, it actually appreciates in value as it ages. Vintage rugs actually become more sought after and prized then newly made ones. Replica's loose their value the minute you put them on the ground, whereas a well cared for Vintage Moroccan Rug will only ever increase in value the longer you have it.
So if you enter in your google search bar "Buy Moroccan Rugs Australia", be sure to seek out those suppliers who guarantee you the real deal and not "Moroccan Styled Rugs", trust me you really wont regret it.