Morocco is well known for beautiful and original handwoven wool rugs, made mostly by Berber tribes, with the weaving reflecting their creative independence and age-old traditions and beliefs. Since the middle of the 20th century, a new type of rug started to become better known when Berber women started to make a variety of practical domestic carpets using a wider range of non-wool materials and began to use new non-traditional styles for these pieces. Now it is found in some of the hippest homes!
This is the Boucherouite rug, (pronounced boo-shay-REET), a word meaning in Arabic ‘a piece torn from used clothing’, or a ‘scrap’. Wonderfully extravagant in colour, this rug makes of rag strips and yarns from recycled clothes, wool, cotton
Where original vegetable dyes were on the whole subtle and soft, the dyes in these scraps are much brighter and bolder. The rugs can feature asymmetrical patterning and free-form shapes based on the tribal symbols and motifs used in wool carpets, such as a lozenge, small square, and chevron shapes.
They were made as very practical household items, and were often used to cover more expensive hand-made wool rugs, when families were sitting on the floor, preparing food, or for babies to play on. Like so many beautiful tribal carpets, they combine practicality with an irresistible exuberance and sense of fun and happiness. They were also created to sit on when travelling by mule or horse, and are frequently still seen as saddle covers. They are rarely very large, more commonly woven for simple everyday use, yet still display a great creative vitality.