Moroccan Tribal Weavings

Vintage Moroccan Tribal Weavings

We just acquired a beautiful collection of Moroccan tribal weavings from a prominent designer Carine Letessier. These rugs were hand-selected by her and her husband Claude Letessier during their travel adventures in Morocco.

One of the most popular emerging styles of handmade rugs, aside from the faded and worn, “shabby chic” look, are the Moroccan tribal rugs and kilims, hand woven by the girls and women of tribes like Beni Ouarain, Ait Youssef, Beni Sadden, Beni Jelidassen, Beni Mguild, Barmoucha, Mrirt, Taznakht from the southern Chelouh area, Zemmour, Zaine, Khneifra, Rehamna, Oulad Bou Sbaa, Tapis Glaoui and Chichaoua Tapis.

Woven in the 1960’s and 1970’s, each of these Moroccan tribes makes different types of carpets and rugs. Although it’s difficult to determine which carpet belongs to which tribe, what makes the beni ouarain rugs distinctive is the thick pile wool and simple black and brown geometric motifs, mostly in diamonds orientation. Beni Ouarain rugs are considered by most artistic carpets of today triangles, white giant diamond shapes, broken lines, stars and patterns that give “le blanc beni ouarain” rugs extraordinary balance to the overall design.


Most of the Atlas pile weavings are unusually soft and flexible. The weavers of these very artistic carpets claim that the colors in these rugs are natural dyes, the white is undyed wool from sheep that live in the Atlas mountains with altitudes as high as 10,000 feet. Henna is used for reds, saffron for yellow, the indigo plant for blue, wild mint for green, pomegranate for burgundy and the other colors which are created from a mix of more than one of the natural dyes. Morocco’s tribal rugs offer a different view of Oriental carpets with very simple and expressive patterns, influenced from Anatolian carpets with geometric patterns often based on diamond shapes. They are often irregular in size and symmetry, never appearing to be perfect, resulting a one of a kind specimen featuring a whole vocabulary of symbols, minimalist design orientation and techniques and vibrant yet soothing colors.  Placing one of these rugs, even in an empty room, creates a warm and welcoming atmosphere. It has been said that Frank Lloyd Wright was fond of tribal Morrocan rugs and he was one of the first people to import them into this country.

See the vintage Moroccan rugs we offer for sale.


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