Making a Beni Ourain rug
How is an authentic Beni Ourain rug made? This unique process starts with procuring the wool. The makers source the special sheep from the mountains of Morocco. Then they sheer the sheep to get their natural wool. Next, the wool from the sheep must be cleaned and scoured. Otherwise, it contains natural oils.
Hand spinning of the wool
The wool is then hand spun. This spinning process transforms the wool. It twists fibers together and makes yarn. The wool is spun into threads that are perfect for weaving. The loom and warp are then prepared. When you buy a Sukhi Berber rug, you’ll always know that the warp is made from 100% natural wool.
Knotting the rug
The next part of the rug making process is knotting. This is where you can see the true talents of the craftspeople. Our rugs are woven with a little weft between the knots. Why do we do this? It creates a rug that’s truly dense.
Dyeing and trimming
Before the rug is complete, the pattern is dyed with natural dyes. It is then cut from the loom and trimmed. The pile is trimmed using special scissors. This is done to ensure the pile length is standard in size.
The final steps
During the months of knotting, the original wool gets dirty. It also gets hard from being attached to the loom. That is why the rugs are washed and dried once again. We wash the rug 2-3 times again to ensure it is soft. Sometimes we even wash it more than 3 times before it is ready for customers. Then here’s the last step. We let each Berber rug dry naturally in the warm sun.
A truly sublime process of making a Beni Ourain rug
The work that we put into each Berber rug is enormous. It’s indescribable in some ways. Each rug takes multiple weavers many, many days. Over a period of weeks, artisans are busy threading wool and tying individual pile knots. The end result is a gorgeous piece of art. It’s a highly sought after rug.
A heritage that developed over generations
Hand-woven Beni Ourain rugs take a great deal of skill. The knowledge is passed down from mother to daughter. You will see amazing design elements. Many are reflective of the weaver’s real life. Themes emerge in Beni Ourain rugs such as birth, fertility, nature, femininity, rural life and religious beliefs. Some even believe they are barriers against evil spirits. That’s why symbols of lucky charms and from tribe ceremonies are often present.
Natural ivory and dark brown shades
Berber rugs are woven from natural ivory sheep wool. It’s the wool that covers the sheep’s body. At first glance, the pattern may look black. But actually it’s a very dark brown color. The deep brown wool is from the sheep’s head. Beni Ourain rugs are considered the most prestigious in all of Morocco. They are made from what is considered among the finest wool on earth. We at Sukhi are proud to be part of this tradition.