Moroccan rugs have been produced for over a thousand years. The Atlas Mountains in Morocco were a major trade route for caravans that went from the Sahara Desert over the Atlas Mountains to the African coastline. The tribal people of the Atlas Mountains have passed down traditional Moroccan carpet weaving techniques from generation to generation, and heavy pile Moroccan rugs were used in the snowcapped Atlas Mountains as sleeping mats, burial shrouds, saddle blankets, bed covers, and interior decorations.
Moroccan rugs can be rich in color or muted and minimalist. Moroccan carpets are traditionally abstract and have geometric patterns. Antique and mid-century Moroccan rugs are never over 7 feet wide, as the weavers were nomadic and had to move the looms during the winter and summer seasons. But now, with Vintage Moroccan rugs and carpets, sizes can vary from small to large.
The popularity of Moroccan rugs has risen over the years, transcending their original practical purpose as decorative floor coverings. The two most popular types of Moroccan carpets are Berber carpets, named for the tribes that weave them, and Beni Ourain carpets. The Beni Ourain tribe consists of 17 different Berber tribes living in the Atlas Mountains. They specialize in raising sheep, whose lustrous wool is used to produce beautiful carpets. Vintage Beni Ourain rugs are typically abstract in design and consist of neutral colors.
Tulu rugs originated in central Anatolia in the Konya area. Much like Moroccan carpets, Tulu rugs were mostly made in smaller sizes. Tulu carpet designs are simple, abstract, or minimalist, and they often have a mid-century look. Tulu rug designs were made with a coarse weave and long, shaggy pile, and the wool used in Tulu rugs are of a very high quality, often shiny and lustrous.