Why buy a vintage Moroccan rug?
Traditionally, Moroccan rugs were made just for home and personal use as floor coverings, seat covers, bed blankets or even as wraps to keep warm. They were not made to be sold; they were a labour of love. The inspiration for a woman’s rug design was often from her tribal roots, handed down via the generations from grandmother to mother to daughter – this may dictate the inclusion of certain motifs or colours or particular elements of family traditions such as a teapot, or family events such as births, marriages, even deaths. Other influences may have been from everyday life – nature, animals, colours based on emotions and thought, symbols of fertility and life. Any of these elements could be depicted in a number of ways, dependent upon and limited only by the artistic creativity of the woman and her imagination. This is what makes vintage Moroccan rugs so special – they are one-off works of art that tell a story. They have also lived a life in a family home where they will have been looked after as cherished possessions.
A word about that term ‘vintage’
The rugs we sell are all genuine authentic vintage Moroccan Berber rugs unless specified differently on the individual rug description.
So what does this mean?
There are many views as to what the term 'vintage' actually means. Some people use it to describe an item that is not current, therefore it’s ‘vintage’. Others refer to the ‘style’ of an item as being ‘vintage’ - for example, this is often the case with clothing, ‘a vintage style dress’ etc.
When we talk about a rug being ‘vintage’, we are referring to a rug that is anywhere between 30-100 years old, made by hand from the 1980s or before. Anything older is considered to be an antique. We always stipulate the approximate date when a rug was made within each rug description.
It is important for you, the customer, to be aware that there are some people who sell rugs who use the term 'vintage' in a casual way, simply denoting that a rug is not new. There are also some online retailers who unknowingly (or knowingly) sell new rugs from Morocco that have been bleach-washed or left in the sun for weeks so they appear faded and vintage. Sadly, there is a whole business surrounding the deliberate ageing of textiles, so be careful what you buy!
The life of a Vintage Moroccan Rug
A true vintage rug, as we define it, is one that has stood the test of time for 30+ years. It is therefore likely to show some signs of wear in one way or another e.g. some fading, unravelled tassels, small marks etc. If the rug you want to buy is in absolutely perfect condition and does not show any sign of use, please consider that it may not be a genuine vintage rug.
As is the case with all items of a vintage nature, a vintage rug will have had a past life, usually within the household of the woman who made it. Sometimes a rug will have been creatively woven on a rather crudely made loom and this can result in the rug being more of a ‘freeform’ shape where the sides may not be perfectly straight in places, or it may be tapered at one end. Through everyday usage, most genuine vintage rugs may exhibit signs of a past life, such as candle wax, henna marks (considered a blessing!) and possibly small repairs. There will likely be areas of natural fading, giving a wonderful mature patina to the rug. If the rug has been washed in the traditional way over the course of years, colours may have run in places or tassels may have become unravelled. These are all signs that the rug is authentic and genuine – it has not been made in a factory using modern looms, but rather it has been lovingly made by hand for family use and cared for using local methods. This is what you are getting when you buy a genuine vintage rug. These are the things that make a rug unique and these are the things we love.
Whilst the above is true of most vintage Moroccan rugs, some may have only been used for special ceremonial occasions such as for a birth or a marriage celebration and then have been stored safely in a chest until the next occasion. In such cases, the rug will often still have maintained its bright colours and be in very good condition for its age.
It is important to us that you, as one of our customers, are confident that what you are buying is the genuine article, so please feel free to get in touch with us if you have any queries before purchasing.
Each rug is totally unique. Sometimes they are creatively woven to include ancestral tribal motifs and patterns; sometimes they include the weaver’s personal interpretation of her daily life and surroundings; sometimes they are very artistic and creative pieces which are very difficult to interpret.
Whichever rug you choose, when you purchase a Moroccan vintage rug from us, you can be assured you are buying an authentic rug handmade by women living in tribal regions in Morocco.