All About - Our Collection of Vintage Moroccan Rugs
Each Nouvelle Nomad rug is a one of a kind, hand woven vintage artwork originating from the various handcraft regions and Berber tribes of Morocco.
Full of history and character, and perfectly aged in all the right places.
Since 2016 we've been partnering with local family businesses and specialty carpet traders here in Morocco to source our special collection from the traditional rug weaving regions, the carpet auctions and the souks.
Specialising in authentic vintage, the unique and hard to find, our collection is just a small example of the hundreds of different weaving styles, designs and wool qualities available in both traditional and modern made Moroccan rugs.
While new-make rugs are readily available, we love to find new homes for the beautiful treasures that already exist in this world rather than producing more.
Selecting each and every piece for its authenticity, quality and design - with the modern Australian home and aesthetic in mind.
What Are The Different Types Of Vintage Moroccan Rugs?
The most common and sort after of the vintage Moroccan rug styles are the 100% wool vintage Beni Ourains, Boujads and Beni MGuilds. Not to be mistaken for the newly made 'Beni Rugs' and 'Berber Style Rugs' being produced in India by the commercial rug brands, and passing them off as 'vintage' or 'Moroccan'.
We focus on sourcing a few main styles of authentic vintage Moroccan rugs for the Nouvelle Nomad collection;
Beni Ourain & Marmoucha Rugs
This style of rug has been popularised in design and architecture magazines over the last few decades for their classic and minimalist style. Making finding genuine vintage Beni Ourain pieces much harder to come across these days.
If you're lucky enough to own a genuine mid-century to 1970s aged vintage Beni Ourain rug, look after it with love and care as you'll treasure a valuable piece of history for years to come.
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Rich bold naturally dyed colour pallets of pinks, magentas, reds and purples in 100% sheeps wool from the Boujad region of the Atlas Mountains of Morocco. Low to medium pile loop-knotted weaving style that can range from light weight flat-woven through to thick and heavy high wool content pieces.
Often featuring large central diamond or lozenge shapes, and handwoven designs filled with Berber symbology and repeated pattern work around the borders.
Boujad rugs are some of the most sort after of the vintage Moroccan rug styles. Their unique and recognisable style is again often copied by commercial rug brands going for that 'bohemian style', but never matched.
The quality, designs, and colours of the natural plant and vegetable dyes of the rugs made around the 1960s and 1970s in Boujad region are some of the most beautiful and now considered collectors pieces.
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Haouz Region Rugs
The Haouz region around Marrakech is a hot and arid inland area that calls for practical flat woven rugs. This style is often referred to as the Beldi style - Beldi meaning traditional, rural and natural.
The low pile hand-knotted weaving style often features intricate traditional designs in tones of ochre, plum, and soft natural reds. Often with a striped flat woven kilim section at the ends and woven onto a sturdy base of goats wool.
The zig zag or saw tooth edging around the borders, and raw end tassels in natural brown goats wool.
These rugs are a beautiful statement piece for lounges and dining areas and suit a bohemian rustic interior with tonal terracotta colour pallet.
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Beni MGuild Rugs
Thick and heavy wool content rugs often in the widest widths available (1.8 - 2m +) of the vintage Moroccan rug styles making these pieces great for large lounge and dining areas.
Hand knotted loop style weaving with medium to high pile 100% sheeps wool originating from the Beni MGuild region of the Middle Atlas Mountains. A region with cold Winters that call for heavy floor coverings for warmth and comfort.
Often quite textural with varied pile finishes on the surface, subtle gradiated colourings and large geometric diamond line work, with the intricate hand-weaving work that can be seen in all it's glory from the under side of the rug.
Most vintage Beni MGuild rugs on the market are around 1980s age. If you do happen to find an original 1950s - 60s aged piece you're lucky to own a collectors piece of history.
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The creations from the Taznakht region in the South of Morocco are often lighter in weight and with a lower pile than the thicker rugs from the colder mountainous regions.
These rugs feature the beautiful golden tones of the desert - ochre, turmeric and tabacco in soft and often silky hand spun wool from the region.
The old style rugs, the original mid-century aged ones in particular from the Taznakht area are known to be some of the best quality weaving in Morocco.
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Bright colourful and whimsical handwoven designs from the mountainous Azilal region. Generally light weight decorative pieces made with silky handspun wool.
Loose lozenge shapes and Berber symbols in bright colours feature through out the designs that often resemble the landscapes and shapes of the mountains.
These rugs are great for brightening up smaller spaces and colour-full bohemian maximimalist homes that love to play with clashing prints and patterns. Each vintage Azilal is as unique as the weaver who made it.
The original 1970s aged piece some of our favourites that had a style that was well ahead of their time.
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Bright and colourful cotton and mixed textile rugs known also as 'Moroccan rag rugs'. Made from hand-knotting strips of upcycled cotton, fabrics and materials. The ultimate in sustainable homewares.
traditionally used as a versatile and decorative floor covering, wall covering, seat covering or dinner mat for meals around the home. These versatile and functional pieces of art a colourful and creative addition to the modern bohemian home.
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How Old Are Vintage Moroccan Rugs?
Genuine vintage Moroccan rugs are mostly aged between 30 and 80 years old, and have been handwoven by Berber women many years ago for personal use in the home, to mark an occasion like a birth or wedding, or for trade.
Most vintage rugs have had a life well lived in family homes before making their way to the carpet auctions in the mountains, and the souks of the major cities.
The rugs of this age are unique in that the weaving style, materials, natural dyes and wool quality is no longer found in the newly make rugs from Morocco.
With the popularity of the vintage Moroccan pieces over the last few decades, finding the true vintage pieces in great condition is becoming much harder.
We hold a collection of vintage Moroccan rugs ranging from mid-century 1950s all the way through to more contemporary style vintage rugs of the 1980s and 90s.
How Are Vintage Moroccan Rugs Faded?
Genuine vintage Moroccan rugs in good condition have been naturally sun faded and with age and time. Most of the faded vintage rugs you see have started their life a deep red, purple or rich ochre colour which has washed back to a softer tonal pallet from the natural dyes having contact with direct sunlight.
Due to the fairly recent trend for the muted tones and faded Moroccan pieces, sometimes older style rugs in deep colours which aren't as 'fashionable' now, will be left out in the sun by local rug sellers a while to get this trending sun bleached and faded look.
Many rug sellers artificially fade both new and old pieces with chemical bleach to get this similar effect. While this is a perfectly legitimate way to fade back a rug, it does affect the integrity of the wool fibres. So if you have purchased a chemically bleached rug you may find that the wool sheds and disintegrates over time.
We prefer to only source and stock rugs that are in their beautiful original condition, and with colourings that have naturally sun faded with age and time. We avoid any rugs that have been chemically bleached.
How Are Vintage Moroccan Rugs Washed & Repaired?
Each of our rugs is hand washed and hand repaired in traditional methods here in Marrakech, Morocco before being shipped to Australia or their new homes around the world.
This involves laying the rugs out and scrubbing with a large brush and soapy water to remove dirt, stains and smells from their previous life. The rugs are then laid out flat in the Moroccan sun to dry.
Repairs and restorations are done by hand to patch holes, finish ends and re tassel when necessary. We use naturally dyed wools and materials that most closely match the materials of the original piece.
We work with local artisan experts that are skilled at washing delicate materials, caring for the natural dyes, and repairing the rugs in traditional methods.
How Do I Clean My Vintage Moroccan Rug?
We recommend regular vacuuming on a light setting and occasionally hanging your rug up outside in the fresh air and natural sunlight to give it some air.
Due to the nature of natural dyes and delicate materials, spot cleaning of your rug should only ever be done with mild soapy water - no chemicals or cleaning agents.
Natural dyes, in particular dark reds, can sometimes bleed or transfer onto other surfaces when wet, so try and avoid placing on top of carpets or other rugs if you’re worried about spills.
If you've had a major spill, or there's grubby marks from use - expert rug cleaning services are found in all major cities in Australia.
In Melbourne we use and recommend The Melbourne Rug Wash and can arrange this for you for a fee.
There is a more detailed article here:
Do Vintage Moroccan Rugs Smell?
The thick wool of a vintage Moroccan rug can often take on kitchen smells, bacteria from pets and spills from food over time. Taking your rug to a professional rug cleaning service every couple of years is a great way to keep it in good condition for years to come.
The nature of vintage rugs of this age, and the natural wool they are made of often means that a rug often holds a natural woolly smell. While this is common in vintage pieces, it should never be too noticeable or over baring.
This smell may seem stronger if stored in a confined space, like in plastic, or in a car on a hot day as wool sweats and can breed bacteria. So try to only ever store your rug in a breathable cotton cover.
If your rug has been in storage for a while, giving it some breathing space by hanging outside in natural light to kill any bacteria or musty smells.
If this doesn't fix it, the best treatment is to take to a professional rug cleaning service for a routine clean, with an anti bacterial wash to kill any bacteria.
Got More Questions About Our Rugs?
I'm always happy to answer any questions you might have.
Get in contact below or send me an email to email@example.com