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