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Discovering the Ancient Art of Moroccan Carpet Crafting

by nizar ennabil on July 30, 2023

The Story Behind Every Thread

Hey there! Ever wondered about the magic that goes into creating Moroccan carpets? I did too. So, I set off on an expedition to the heart of Morocco to learn about the ancient techniques and stories that have been passed down for generations.

Tying Knots, Binding Traditions

Did you know? The number of knots in a carpet can tell you where it’s from. From 50 knots in a carpet from the High-Atlas to a whopping 400 in a city carpet from Rabat. That’s a lot of intricate handwork!

Loving the Wool - A Heavenly Gift

In some parts of Morocco, wool is like a present from the skies. People believe it shields against bad vibes. From the moment it's sheared to when it's spun into yarn, there's a lot of love and tradition involved. After shearing, the wool is kept in a secret spot, awaiting its next step. And guess what? There’s even a special chant for washing it, asking the wool to bring abundance like wheat.

Dyeing: More than Just Color

Dyeing wool isn't just about getting the right shade. There’s an old ritual where wool is left under starlight to ward off any evil. Before the actual dyeing, the craftswoman would purify herself as if getting ready for prayer. She'd then approach the wool, reciting prayers, ensuring that the dyeing process is imbued with blessings.

Weaving the Stories Together

Setting up a loom is a whole event. Neighbors are called upon, prayers are said, and even sugar is crushed for good luck. Then, there's singing: "We want to set up the loom, every loom seeing daylight should be completed." That’s some genuine community spirit!

City Carpets: A Touch of Elegance

City carpets, especially from Rabat and Médiouna, are heavily inspired by oriental designs. These carpets often feature extensive detailing in the central field with multiple medallions and can have up to 90,000 points per square meter based on the desired quality level. Their unusually long proportions are an adaptation to the typically long rooms found in Moroccan architecture.

Middle Atlas Carpets: Rustic Charm

The Middle Atlas region, home to tribes like Béni M'Guild, crafts carpets known for their soft, plush feel. These rugs are often used as mattresses or blankets and feature simple geometric designs. They are locally known as "achdif". The weaving techniques may vary slightly between different tribes, adding a unique touch to each piece.

High Atlas Carpets: Mountain Majesty

High Atlas carpets, also known as carpets of the Aït Ouaouzguites tribe, share a similar crafting technique to city carpets. They represent the creativity of the tribe inhabiting the land between Ouarzazate and Taznakht, and their unique patterns add a touch of splendor to any space.

Haouz Carpets: A Blend of Tradition and Creativity

In the Haouz region surrounding Marrakech, the carpets bring together Arabic origins and innovative designs. The most recognized among them are the ones from Rehamna, H'mar, and Oulades Bousebaâ tribes. Characterized by symmetric knots and a variety of simple, yet captivating designs, these carpets truly represent the heart and soul of the region.

From the looms in the city to the mountainous tribes, Morocco’s carpet-crafting scene is an enchanting blend of skill, tradition, and heart. Joining the threads of history, culture, and artistry, these carpets are more than just decor - they're a testament to the spirit of Morocco.

Come, let's keep exploring this beautiful art together on Tuyya.com.

Did you know? Buying a carpet in some Atlas tribes is like receiving a gift from the heavens, marked with grand celebrations. In others, it’s like bidding farewell to a loved one. The depth of emotions these crafts evoke is truly astounding.