Berber rugs are a centuries-old carpeting choice that are reminiscent of Aladdin’s magic carpet with their beautiful, exotic designs. Although you can’t fly through the sky on traditional Berber rugs, they are an addition that brings a touch of magic to your home’s interior design.
Authentic Berber Rugs vs. Modern Imitations
There are two types of rugs that are known as Berber today. One type is a modern, factory-made carpet in the style of a traditional Berber rug. The other type is a real, authentic rug hand-crafted by the Berber people of Morocco, who have been making these rugs since the Paleolithic era. Authentic Berber rugs are not only better quality; they also support a way of life for the Berber tribes who sell them to retailers. Factory-made and authentic rugs may look similar on first glance, but it doesn’t take much to tell the difference upon closer inspection.
Authentic Berber rugs are made from sheep’s wool, while factory-made imitations are usually composed of synthetic materials. Natural, un-bleached shades of ivory and white are the main colors in a real Berber rug, with darker, dyed wool intertwined to create beautiful patterns. Factory-made rugs, on the other hand, come in a wide variety of bright colors derived from chemical dyes. Real Berber rugs are easy to find for sale online, and are often comparably priced or even cheaper than imitation Berber rugs.
Incorporating Berber Rugs into Your Decor
Traditional Berber rugs are neutral in color, with shades of white, ivory, brown and black, so they match any room effortlessly. They look great in a classic, neutral room, as part of Middle Eastern-inspired decor, or in a modern room with bright colors and abstract shapes. Berber rugs look great atop any existing floor surface, from hard wood to laminate or vinyl. They even look great placed atop another rug or carpet to create a contemporary layered look.
Berber rugs are usually longer than they are wide, which makes them a great choice for long rooms or wide hallways. An unconventional way to decorate with a Berber rug is to hang it on the wall. Because they are crafted by hand, the size and shape of Berber rugs can vary from rug to rug. They do not come in standard sizes like commercial carpets, so they may not be the best choice if you need a specific rug size.
Where to Place Berber Rugs
Although Berber rugs are durable, they can be damaged by excessive dirt, which causes the fibers to loosen. Avoid placing Berber rugs near doorways or in pet areas to prevent dirt accumulation. The best location for a Berber rug is in the center of a room, in front of the sofa or beneath the coffee table. This showcases the rug without bringing too much foot traffic onto it.
Berber rugs also look lovely in bedrooms, and placing your feet on the soft wool as you get out of bed in the morning is a great way to start the day. Avoid placing Berber rugs in rooms with a lot of moisture, such as bathrooms and kitchens. Water can cause the dyes in the rug to bleed or run.
Care and Cleaning of Berber Rugs
Authentic Berber rugs require a little more care than regular synthetic carpets. They can be carefully vacuumed, but the best way to remove dirt and debris is to take the rug outside and shake it out. If you would rather vacuum your rug, use a hand-held vacuum rather than an upright, which can damage the rug with its heavy weight or cause fibers to get stuck in its rollers. Make sure to flip the rug and vacuum both sides to remove all the dirt. Shake or vacuum your rug at least once each week.
If your Berber rug experiences a stain or a spill, slowly blot the rug with a white paper towel. Be careful not to rub the stain in, and never use chemical cleaners like carpet foam. Berber rugs should be professionally cleaned if a spill will not blot out. They should also be professionally cleaned at least once a year to keep them in good condition.