These unique and exciting works of ethnic art are the product of an extraordinarily complex process of cultural development. Combining spiritual symbolism and functional practicality gives the Berber rugs their unique magnetism. Moroccan rugs combine minimalism and intricate detail inspired by ancient culture and later by the Islamic heritage. The rugs were first discovered in the West in the 1930s by designers and architects such as Le Corbusier, Charles and Ray Eames and A. Alto. They started incorporating soft, vibrant rugs in their interiors to counterbalance the austerity modern furniture, often made out of metal or glass. The American architect Frank Lloyd Wright traveled to Morocco to bring back home carpets for his clients, and his house at Falling Water featured black and white Beni Ourain carpets in almost every room. Since then, the simple and elegant rugs of Beni Ourain tribes have become increasingly popular in the West.
Similar to the Beni Ourain, Azilal rugs are all unique pieces, created from both dyed and undyed wool. Coming from the Tadla-Azilal province in the Atlas Mountains, the dazzling rugs are produced by the Ait Bougmez, Ait Bouzid, Ait Bou Oulli and Ait Chokmane tribes. Azilal rugs are rarer than the Beni Ourain rugs, often featuring similar black and white diamond pattern, but rather often distinguished by their abstract highlights.
Boucherouite rugs are a recent phenomenon among Moroccan rugs. The word boucherouite (pronounced boo-share-huit) is derived from Darija (Moroccan dialect) word for vintage and reused clothing. The rugs made out of this recycled clothing for domestic use are basically variations on the ordinary rag rug found in almost every culture. The artists use their skills and techniques collected in their cultures for generations producing incredibly bright, attractive and often whimsical designs. Since wool is relatively expensive for many artisans, substituting wool with recycled fabrics and cheap synthetic fibers has become a solution, and one can even find in the rugs such materials as nylon, lurex and various plastics.
Basically, all regions of Morocco have their distinct weaving styles and connoisseurs of this form of craft can truly enjoy studying and acquiring these unique pieces of living Moroccan art.
Traditionally, Moroccan rugs used natural colors: the hints of henna, indigo, saffron and madder root dyes. In Berber culture colors represent positive qualities: red strength and protection, blue wisdom, yellow eternity and green peace.