You’ve seen them before. They are vintage, sometimes bright and colorful, filled with (im)perfections.. and, most importantly, unique. Moroccan rugs, called Beldi (meaning traditional, rural and natural in Moroccan), are just incredible pieces of art. A Beldi rug is an authentic piece of folk art traditionally hand-woven by a married woman after she has had children. She would usually work on it each day, with patience and love, sometimes for as a long as a year. There is four main kinds of Beldi rugs: Beni Ouarain, Boujad, Boucherouite and Azilal.
These rugs are surprisingly modern looking, featuring minimalist designs of diamonds, triangles or naïve figures in black on a white or cream background. Their abstract simplicity made them attractive to famous modernist architects in the 1920s and 30s, such as Le Corbusier and Alvar Aalto. They are considered to be the most prestigious rugs in Morocco, made from the very finest wool.
With Boujad pile-woven rugs, from the region of Haouz, reds, oranges and pinks tend to dominate in rich, complex geometric patterns of squares and diamonds. But they are not overly formal, often featuring idiosyncratic shapes according to the whim of the weaver.
Boucherouite rugs are a riot of colour – pinks, blues, reds and yellows – all jostling for attention in wildly exuberant patterns, sometimes geometric, sometimes totally abstract. They were usually made from a variety of textiles in “rag rug” style, so they’re machine-washable and easy to maintain.
Rugs from the Azilal province are rare and were almost unknown to the market until the late 1990s. Their wool tends to be finer, producing a lustrous, almost cloth-like covering. They feature simplistic geometric shapes and patterns with dashes of vibrant colors always on a cream background.