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Who Are The Berber People?

These tribal members are known for renowned craftsmanship that is evident in their handwoven rugs. Vintage Berber rugs function as luxurious accents in high-end homes, but even those with more modest means can add elegance to their living spaces with a recently woven carpet. The designs keep in touch with their origins because tribal members pass on their weaving knowledge to each generation.

Tribal Berber rugs date as far back as the year 622. Young girls learned by watching their mothers and grandmothers. They used the looping techniques and familial patterns they learned to weave intricately designed coverings. These were used mostly as bedding, but a variety of the smaller ones functioned as portable prayer mats. Some of the vintage rugs were made by Eastern tribal master weavers. These made esteemed gifts for elite families.

The process for making each handcrafted Berber rug started with either sheared wool from Atlas Mountain sheep or camel hair. Wool was painstakingly cleaned, combed and spun. Some of it was dyed while some of it was used in its natural color. The last step was for the weaver to burn the edges of the rug in order to avert evil spirits. This superstition is rooted in the belief that bad spirits envy the beauty of the carpet.

A Berber rug often comes with a distinctive pattern such as a monochrome designs or a bold geometric pattern evocative of Islamic artwork. Weavers created designs that portray lozenges, crosses, diamonds and triangles. Traditional natural wool colors include black, brown and white. To achieve different colors, dyes for vintage rugs included henna for red, indigo for blue, wild mint for green, saffron for yellow and pomegranate for burgundy.

Weavers often wove symbols into their tribal Berber rugs to infuse protective powers. For newly married couples, rugs often included fertility symbols.

The color and design of these weavings nowadays complement many types of offices and homes. Some rugs have a more contemporary look to enhance modern building interiors, office spaces and living rooms while others have a traditional look that especially suits entrance ways or bedrooms.

Many coverings come with a cream or white background color to go with any décor. The intertwined, naturally dyed wool gives each rug a unique look and adds a distinct touch to any living space. The choice is personal, but the versatility, simplicity and beauty of Berber rugs can’t be denied.

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