Berber carpet

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Swatches of Berber carpet
Detail of a traditional Berber rug
Handmade Berber carpet from Morocco

Berber carpets are a modern style of carpet, distinguished by a loop pile construction type, and usually contain small flecks of dark color on lighter shades of background colors. They generally consist of a plain color mix with no pattern, and are relatively cheap and durable, and popular for areas with significantly heavy use such as offices. Berber carpets are also the traditional hand-woven carpets of the Berber people of North Africa, which use a distinct knot that gives a similar appearance to a modern Berber carpet, but are brightly colored with designs that are different from other oriental rugs.[1]


The origin of Berber carpets date back to the Paleolithic era and were made by Berbers in North Africa. The hand spun cloth they created was named for the tribe, and they used natural fibers to create cloaks, rugs, and other fabrics. [2][3][4]

Traditional Berber carpet[edit]

Handmade / homemade Berber carpets are still an active industry in many rural areas of Berber countries. Many Berber families gain their daily bread from manufacturing carpets manually and selling them in local markets or even to art merchants and tourists. Traditional Berber carpet is totally different from the modern mass-produced berber carpets usually known in the West. They are much more sophisticated and are made of natural materials.

Modern Berber carpet[edit]

Today there are numerous types of modern Berber carpet made from a wide variety of materials. Nylon, Olefin fiber, and wool are the most frequently used materials, and the size of loops and cut pile varies for each manufacturer. Olefin is the most frequently used and most affordable material, and carpets with blends of the different materials are also available.[5]

Berber carpet is highly durable and is often found in offices, schools, and other high traffic areas. It is stain resistant as well, and is generally more affordable than thicker plush carpets. The disadvantage is that it can be difficult to clean if dirt gets lodged in the fibers, and it may need dry cleaning or specialized service for deep cleaning. It is recommended by most professionals that Olefin Berber be cleaned using a low-moisture or dry cleaning process. Traditional steam cleaning with high alkaline detergents can cause potential pH burns in the olefin. These appear as large yellow or brown splotches. Yellow or brown spots also may be tannin bleed from the sugars in natural fiber carpets that are drawn to the top by improper drying usually caused by over wetting. There are carpet chemicals that can remove most of this yellowing or browning but they are very expensive, and it would be better to not get the yellowing or browning. A better, but more difficult, method may be to dry the carpet from the bottom. This method would generally require lifting up some of the carpet to install a carpet fan under the carpet, and using hot air, not just room temperature air. Regrettably, many of these stains can be permanent if not corrected immediately by a professional carpet cleaner. As with all carpets, Berber should be cleaned every 6 to 12 months to prevent permanent wear patterns.[5]


  1. ^ [1]
  2. ^ Moroccan (Berber) carpets article on the history of Moroccan Berber carpets, by Gebhart Blazek. This text has originally been published as a catalog contribution to the exhibition "Moroccan Charm - Art of the Berber Tribes, The G. Blazek Collection of Carpets and Textiles and the I. Grammet Collection of Jewellery", held from July 2005 until April 2006 at the L. A. Mayer Museum for Islamic Art , Jerusalem, Israel.
  3. ^ [2] Berber Carpets.
  4. ^ WHITE GIANTS. Beni Ouarain article on cream ground Moroccan Berber carpets from the region of the Beni Ouarain in the northern Middle Atlas mountains, by Gebhart Blazek.
  5. ^ a b "Berber Carpeting at LoveToKnow Home Improvement". 2009-05-20. Retrieved 2009-07-19.