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About - Our Vintage Moroccan Rugs

Each Nouvelle Nomad vintage Moroccan rug is a unique handwoven artwork originating from the Berber tribes and traditional handcraft regions 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 Moroccan Rugs?

We focus on sourcing a few main styles of authentic vintage Moroccan rugs for the Nouvelle Nomad collection;

Beni Ourain rugs, Boujad rugs, Beni MGuild Rugs, Azilal rugs and Zemmour rugs.

This article here gives you more detail on the styles of weaving and designs from the different regions and tribes.

Our Guide: The Different Types Of Moroccan Rugs

The most sort after of the vintage Moroccan rug styles are the 100% natural un-dyed wool vintage Beni Ourains.

Not to be mistaken for the newly made 'Beni Rugs' and 'Berber Style Rugs' being produced by some of the big commercial rug retailers, and passing them off as 'vintage' or 'Moroccan' but made in factories in India and other regions in South Asia (yes it happens a lot!)

Shop Moroccan rugs by colour - peach & pink rugs, black & white rugs, terracotta & red rugs, neutral rugs, bright & colourful rugs, blue & purple rugs

Shop Moroccan rugs by size - large sized rugs, small sized rugs, and hall runners.

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?

Most of the faded vintage Moroccan rugs you'll see have started their life either as a deep red, purple or rich ochre colour that has been washed back to a softer tonal pallet from the natural dyes having contact with direct sunlight.

The ones in good condition have been naturally sun faded with age and time. 

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 to get this trending sun bleached and faded look.

Many rug sellers now 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 their original 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 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's an article here that goes into more detail about the washing and repairs process

FAQ - Rug Cleaning & Care

Why Do Some Moroccan Rugs Smell?

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.

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.

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 the whiff, 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.

Contact us below or send me an email to bridget@nouvellenomad.com