My favourite interiors mag arrived through the door yesterday morning. In their June edition, Elle Decoration UK have featured the six biggest trends in rugs at the moment and guess what…..Vintage comes in at No.6. No surprise there then!
With such a huge range of vintage rugs available to buy in the marketplace, we’re really pleased to be able to offer a choice from a huge collection in Marrakech, from the minimalist design of a classic Beni Ouarain rug to the artistic and colourful design of a Boucherouite rug. Buying a vintage rug will give you the guarantee that there will be no other exactly the same, but there are certain things to look out for when buying.
Vintage Berber rugs were originally woven for their utility, usually sold by families to raise money, and most will have had a long and useful life. Look out for signs of wear and small repairs, this is completely normal and desirable in a genuine vintage piece. Most will have been used in a family home for around 20-30 years. If a rug looks too perfect, chances are it’s a relatively new piece. Additional photos of our rugs are always available, and we can carry out any additional repairs required.
Check that the rug has been washed. All of our rugs and washed and dried prior to shipping from Morocco.
Remember that some of the dyes used in a colourful rug may not necessarily be colour fast.
Trawling through the internet this morning to find a suitable image to illustrate the difference between ‘black’ and ‘brown’ designs on a Beni Ouarain rug. Unfortunately we don’t know the source of this beautiful photo, but you can clearly see that the classic lattice design on this lovely Beni rug is woven in brown wool. So what is the difference? and how can you know what you are buying? It is often very difficult to tell from photos whether a design is in fact brown or black. If you’re working with a neutral palette, either brown or black will probably work in a room, but we are often asked by clients specifically for a Beni rug with a ‘black’ design.
You can find vintage Beni rugs woven with either brown or black designs, but ‘black’ will often have faded down to a lovely charcoal grey over years of use and washing. However, it is worth noting that contemporary Beni Ouarain rugs woven with undyed wool are invariably woven with a brownish coloured wool, the reason for this is simply that wool from pure black sheep has become increasingly difficult to source. Therefore if you do find a modern Beni rug with a black design, you can probably assume that the wool has been dyed. This doesn’t detract from its beauty in any way of course! If you are looking specifically for a rug with a black design, we will do our best to find one for you, and this often involves getting some really good close up photos of the rug to double check the colour of the design. A custom made rug can, of course, be made in the colour of your choice
A sneak peak of some beautiful Vintage Kilim Boucherouite arriving this month to add to our collection…..
These colourful flatweaves are woven from pieces of recycled textiles, are light and durable, and perfect for throwing down on a wooden or stone floor to add warmth, texture and colour. Above is a lovely kilim abstractly decorated with tribal motifs including eight-pointed ‘Solomon’s star’ (female fertility) symbols.
Although you may find many similar kilims, no two are exactly alike. In contrast to the kilim in the first photo, the one above has an orderly vertical zig zag design with contrasting horizontal weaving at each end, and below a traditional lozenge design. Easy to clean, they are perfect for kitchens, bathrooms and children’s rooms. All three arriving later this month….we will keep you posted!
There’s a lot to be said for the good old fashioned idea of ‘airing’ a carpet, and taking it outside to give it a good beating. Cleaning a rug in Morocco is very similar…….shake it, wash it, dry it. Simple but effective, it’s common sense really, and they don’t have moth problems. The rugs are taken outside and washed with soapy water, either with buckets and brushes on roof terraces or in streams or rivers, and then left in the sun to dry. Great…but not so easy unless you have these facilities and the weather to go with them, but you can follow the same basic principles.
We’re in the process of producing a printed guide to go out with all our rugs, but in the meantime here are some basic do’s and don’ts….
- Air your rug regularly and shake it outside to remove the dirt and dust
- Hoover your rug from side to side only (not along the length)
- Spot clean any marks with a mild detergent
- Consider a specialist carpet cleaning service for cleaning the whole rug. Washing is great, you could use your bathtub, but these rugs are extremely heavy when wet….I’ve tried it! A small Boucherouite rug will be easy to wash and dry, you may even be able to fit one into your washing machine and tumble dryer, but a larger wool rug requires different handling.
- Use any harsh detergents, chemicals or bleach based products. These can damage the wool in a rug and leave unsightly patches.
So there you go….a common sense guide to caring for your rug!