A Moroccan BENI OURAIN Rugs are hand woven on looms, using a decade's old technique and natural, undyed wool. The wool is the highest grade, gathered from sheep raised in summer pastures on the high slopes of the Beni Ourain territory.
The Beni Ourain rug was born in the Middle Atlas mountains of Morocco as the method of cover during snowy winter months. What we know as the Beni Ourain rug is actually a thick, densely woven, furry blanket used by nomadic shepherds for warmth and cover. The thick, long strands of wool and dense weave call to mind a white bearskin.
Snow-white ivory Beni Ourain does not exist. Even the whitest Icelandic sheepskin pelt has cream tips. This is the lanolin, which protects the wool. Moroccan sheep and Icelandic sheep could not be further apart geographically, however. Moroccan sheep are cream colored. And any photo that shows you differently is not depicting the true color. Beni Ourain is cream colored by tradition, and by accident of nature.
A Moroccan BOUCHEROUITE RUG is made for domestic use out of recycled scraps of nylon, cotton, and sometimes wool. The weaver's loom can become the ground of a passionate struggle between self-expression and the chaos of the unconscious, between the life-force of kinship ties and ancient traditions and the trials of modern life.
In small villages in the southern regions of Morocco, the women paint their hands and feet with abstract saffron-colored motifs, wear ornate dramatic jewelry, and weave carpets that are expressive of profound emotion - at once unconscious and spiritual, archetypal and primal, tribal and symbolic. In the often economically and culturally isolated, provincial homes where the Boucherouite is made, the domestic culture is curiously supportive of the weaver's total freedom of expression through her craft.