The origins of the Berber carpet date back to the paleolithic era. for centuries, carpets are made according to the same traditions, on the same types of looms. The different models and ornaments all have a symbolic origin in relation to religion, beliefs and the imaginary of Berber culture. They have passed down the generations from mother to daughter. Authentic Berber rugs are unique pieces made by hand for domestic use and in the purest tradition. It has been threatened since the turn of the century by the gradual sedentarisation of the great nomadic tribes, but at the same time we are witnessing a renewal of the forms of expression and the materials used (carpet of lirette) .
Traditionally, carpets made by young women are then integrated into the dowry at the wedding. It is common for these carpets to be used very little and stored by families for the value they represent. They can be sold according to the economic risks that the home encounters. Berber carpets are traditionally made of wool. The two types of woolen carpets most represented are the Beni ourain rugs (black geometric patterns on a white background and rather thick wool) as well as the Azilal (more colorful and richer wool). The less money-rich families who could not buy wool took from the middle of the twentieth century the habit of recycling the fabric of their used clothes into carpets. These are the Boucherouite rugs also called the poor man's rug.
- 2 Traditional and modern Berber rugs in north africa
Modern Berber rugs feature a pile type of ring rings that give a similar appearance to the characteristic knot of traditionally woven Berber rugs . Modern rugs typically contain small spots of dark colors on lighter shades of background colors resembling a natural unpainted version of traditional rugs. They generally consist of a normal color mix with no pattern, and are relatively cheap and durable. The distinctive knot fabric and the appearance of traditional hand-woven Berber rugs are usually woven in brightly colored designs that differ from other oriental rugs.
Handmade Berber carpets remain an active industry in many rural areas of Berber countries. Many Berber families earn their basic income from manually building carpets and selling them in local markets, merchants and tourists. Traditional Berber rugs differ from modern, mass-produced Berber carpets that are commonly found in industrial markets. They often use cultural designs, usually made of natural materials
Today, there are many types of modern Berber rugs made from a wide range of materials, and nylon, olefin fibers and wool are the most commonly used materials, with the exception of Tunisian Berber carpets and rugs commonly known as 'Margoum' which still retain knowledge of how they inherited from their ancestral textile styles. The Tunisian authorities still control every piece to ensure quality and that the spirit of the "Berbers" in the designs, patterns and symbols is so complex that only wool is allowed with a complete ban on any artificial material, and then each carpet or rug is stamped with a red wax sign (Tunisian handicrafts authorities).
Berber carpets are extremely durable, often found in offices, schools and other high-density areas. It is also stain resistant, and generally more affordable than thicker rugs. To take care of it, most professionals recommend cleaning the Moroccan Olfen Berber using a dry cleaning process or low humidity. Conventional steam cleaning with high alkaline cleaners can cause potential acid burns in the olefin. These large shots appear in yellow or brown. Yellow or brown spots may also be bleeding from sugars in natural fiber rugs that are pulled up by improper drying, which is usually caused by excessive moisturizing. There are carpet chemicals that can remove most of this yellowing or tanning but are expensive, and it would be better not to get yellowing or tanning. The best, but the most difficult, method may be to dry the carpets from below. This method generally requires lifting some carpets to install a carpet fan under the carpet, and use hot air, not just room temperature air. Unfortunately, many of these spots can be permanent if they are not immediately corrected by a professional carpet cleaner. As with all carpets, Berbers should be cleaned every 6 to 12 months to prevent permanent corrosion patterns