Maroc Tribal explains the fascination of Moroccan tribal carpets
Weaving is one of Morocco’s oldest traditions, and grew from the skills of Berber tribal settlers who have lived in Morocco’s rugged Atlas mountains for many thousands of years.
Moroccan carpets have a creative and archaic spirit, and a language of rural symbols and motifs. Modernist architects and designers such as Alvar Aalto, Frank Lloyd Wright, and Ray and Charles Eames used Moroccan tribal carpets to contrast with the clean and often hard lines of 20th century interiors. The colours of North Africa have also been celebrated for centuries by artists like Delacroix, Matisse, Klee.
Moroccan carpets are remarkably diverse. Some are spontaneous and bold, some very plain. Others are full of complex motifs; some are colourful while other feature subtle hues. Irregularities are common and unmatched patterns were often created on purpose. Colour, symbols and a sumptuous earthy aura mark out authentic Moroccan tribal carpets.
Certain tribes favour certain colours. Natural dyes can be found in old pieces– almond leaves, cochineal, indigo, iron sulphate and cow urine were all used. Both synthetic and natural dyes fade – with older rugs you can be sure that most of the fading has already occurred.
The “language” of Moroccan Berber weaving is some of the most complex in the world of textiles. Often when a woman wove a rug it wasn’t just for her: it also served as a means of communication of sorts to be read by those closest to her. Weavings contain important thoughts and ideas. More often than not symbols make reference to the natural world, to fertility, birth, femininity, rural life and to nature as well as to spirituality and beliefs. Many weavers believed that rugs had powers to ward off evil.
Moroccan carpets are dramatic, elegant, cozy and timeless.
Copyright Maroc Tribal March 2012