CRAFTSMANSHIP & MATERIAL
MAKING A MOROCCAN RUG
There are many steps in making a moroccan rug. Everything begins with sheep shearing, sheep shearing is the process by which the woolen fleece of a sheep is cut off, shearing doesn’t hurt a sheep.
After that the wool needs to be washed and cleaned. This is a time consuming process as the sheep graze freely in the meadows and bushes and twigs and thistles accumulate on their wool. Next is the hand carding of the wool, where the wool fibers are shaped into parallel so that they can then be spun into yarn. If necessary, the wool yarn can be dyed with natural colors.
Boucherouite rugs are made from recycled textiles and wool. The washed textiles are cut into strips, from which recycled textile rugrags are made. Finally, warp yarns of wool or cotton are placed on the looms to begin weaving and knotting the rug. Two different node styles are used, symmetric and Berber nodes and their combinations. The knot density of nomad rugs is not as dense as, for example, oriental rugs. This is typical for nomadic rugs, as they had to be easily transported even long distances from one place to another, and thus they are also converted for many different uses. Women believe that if a rug is left to stand on looms for too long, it will bring bad luck. Old moroccan rugs typically have fringes only at one end, the end where the rug is finished.
Berber rugs are woven from the high quality wool of a long-tailed sheep living in the mountains. The higher the sheep graze, the higher the quality of the wool is. Indeed, the wool of long-tailed sheep living in the mountains has been compared to the wool of a cashmir goat, as it has similar characteristics; very warm, airy, ethereal, soft and shimmering. In Berber rugs the wool is always natural untreated and unbleached so the basic color of the rugs variates from very light to beige, greige or yellowish. Untreated sheep's wool is also a material that is breathable, durable, repels dirt and odors, which is why it is easy to keep clean. It’s also soft and lustrous, with a silky sheen because they are lanolin-rich. Lanolin rich wool is much healthier looking and more durable than those that are processed and ”dry”. The sheeps in Atlas Mountains graze freely in the wild traditional way under the guidance of a shepherd and are mulesing free.