Thursday 7 June 2012

Beni Ouarain Or Beni M’rirt?

If you are thinking about buying a Beni Ouarain carpet simply google ‘Beni Ourain carpet’ and (almost) everything about these stunning works of art is revealed. Origin, traditions, Berber symbols and where to buy. Unless your eye is caught by a certain rug that truly sings to you, you may very well find yourself unable to choose between all that is available.

Not surprisingly the Beni Ouarain carpets haven’t gone unnoticed by the world of interior design and its popularity is still rising. These magnificent rugs have the fascinating ability to connect the long history of the nomadic tribes and their roots in heathen religions with modern day interiors. These weavings of silent stories told by the hands of Berber women, their beliefs and conceptions translated into abstract images give a soul to any room. The Beni Ouarain carpets have the quality to compliment a space and furniture with an unobtrusiveness that makes them simply adorable!

Beni Ouarain carpets

Lesser known by their true name are the exquisite soft ivory coloured Beni M’rirt carpets which have only recently emerged on the carpet market most probably instigated by the enormous demand for Beni Ouarain carpets. Originally the Beni M’rirt carpets were darker coloured rugs with very primitive tribal symbols but since a decade the rug making of the Beni M’rirt appears to be strongly influenced by the Beni Ouarain patterns which may explain why I am seeing so many of these rugs being sold as Beni Ouarain rugs!

Despite the pattern influence of the Beni Ouarain carpets in the modern day Beni M’rirt weaving, there are a few very distinctive differences between the two Berber carpets. The carpets have a different knot and the thinner wool yarn of the new Beni M’rirt carpets is much more densely woven and always medium pile. The texture and look of the modern Beni M’rirt carpet is very different from the Beni Ouarain carpet and in my opinion these carpets shouldn’t be confused!

Beni Mrirt carpets

Geographically there is a distance of about 200 km between the Beni Ouarain and Beni M'rirt regions, the Beni M'rirt area being more to the west of the Middle Atlas Mountains. The landscape is very different and there for also the elements which were traditionally often projected as symbols in the design of the vintage carpets.

The weaving and wool quality of the modern Beni M’rirt carpets I have seen and bought is excellent. They are still hand woven according to traditional Berber weaving and they are incredibly dense and sumptuous. Where as the vintage Beni Ouarain carpets have size limitations (long and small) the Beni M’rirt rugs can often be found in many different and desirable dimensions to fit small or even huge spaces. And if you have been searching in vain for an ivory coloured carpet with a particular pattern or design and in a particular size, why not have it custom made? 

Visit here to see the available Beni Ouarain and Beni M'rirt carpets.

1 comment:

  1. Great post, really informative.
    Thank you for explaining the difference between these rugs. I have been searching for a while online & find a lot of discrepancies on websites. Price & quality. My brother in-law bought a carpet from a website thinking it was a Beni Ourain & payed through the nose, but it was not. (We were told later by a Moroccan friend) It wasn't even 'Vintage'! Very frustrating. Your prices are very reasonable & it seems, better priced than the fakes!
    I shall order from you, once I make a choice....too many beauties

    Thank you so much for helping the customer. Love your site too.