Buying a Moroccan Area Rug
Carpets in Morocco – What you Need to Know!
Looking at rugs and carpets in Morocco is part of the fun of a visit. The rugs we saw in Morocco were amazing – colorful and bright and cheerful and a wonderful souvenir that will be a part of your family for generations. Yes, generations. In Morocco they say, “Choose a rug that your grandchildren will enjoy.” because the carpets are so well made that they literally last for generations.
What You Need to Know When Looking at Carpets in Morocco
Moroccan Area Rug – What is the carpet made of? Moroccan rug wool? Cotton? Synthetic Material?
Traditional Moroccan carpets are made from wool. Some wool is from goats or sheep from either Morocco or New Zealand. Enjoy the stories about where the material is from! Some wool is from a live animal and other wool is cut from a sheep skin after the animal is slaughtered.
The real test will be if the material is natural wool or is synthetic. The dramatic way to tell the difference is to set the corner on fire.
Yes, set the corner on fire!
OK, I wouldn’t casually go around doing this but they like to do it for you to prove the wool is the real deal. Enjoy the show! Real wool is very hard to light on fire and goes out quickly if you manage. A synthetic rug will catch fire easily and continue to burn.
Should you choose an authentic Moroccan carpet made from the wool of a Moroccan goat or sheep? Should you choose a traditional design but in synthetic fibers? If you know what you are getting and are happy then that is the perfect rug. Just choose the one you love!
Moroccan Area Rug – Which carpet design to choose?
This was SOO much fun! I am biased because I just love a carpet because they are so beautiful like art. The shops are full of piles and piles and piles of rugs. Choose from many different tribal designs.
I chose one of the most common designs – the Zanafi Tribe style. I love the colors and sharp geometric designs. The story goes that a Berber tribal woman married a Finnish painter. She loved his paintings so much that she began using them as inspiration for her carpets.
My souvenir Moroccan area rug has graced several spots in houses as we’ve moved. Right now it is in the master bedroom. I LOVE seeing this colorful souvenir every day!
Moroccan Area Rug – The Experience
Do not fear that your guide will take you to a carpet shop owned by a friend or cousin. Don’t fear that this guide might even make a little bit of money if you purchase a rug. Understand the way the process works and then just go with it…don’t fight this cultural experience that you have traveled so far to see!
First, you will be welcomed like a long lost friend. As a girl from the south of the US I wasn’t surprised at this because Texans are really warm and welcoming, too. People from places where personalities and hospitality are less…overt, then this might be more of a shock.
The energy and happiness is real! The shopkeeper is happy to see you and to share part of his proud history. They are proud of their rugs and rightly so. Enjoy the experience.
First, they’ll offer you tea – really hot, mint tea. Oh, it is heavenly. I wish I had some right this second – like warm spearmint gum. Then they’ll show you around to try to get a feel for what type of rug you like – size, color, design. You will be treated like royalty.
You’ll notice one more more people hanging very close to the shop keeper. They hang on his every word. A grunt and wave of his hand has them disappear to bring back tea. If you don’t see a rug just exactly what you like, the shop keeper will wave again and off the helper will run – literally – and will come back presently with more rugs that might be something you like.
When you decide to buy a rug and you should buy one! Will you pass this way again? Most travelers do not retrace their steps. Take home a souvenir that brings a smile to your face every time you see it.
Moroccan Area Rug – How to Get it Home?
Getting your new Moroccan carpet home is no problem either. Shops are very happy to ship things home. They can send it right away or hold it so it arrives once you are back home from your trip.
Moroccan Area Rug – How to keep that Wool Rug Clean
I confess I have not done this myself. I vacuum the rug several times a week and several times a year we turn the rug over. You can use both sides of the rug! Vacuuming on both side gets it really clean.
But, if you need/want to clean your rug further you just wash it! This is only for WOOL rugs without a separate backing. First vacuum it really well. Take it outside on the patio hose it down and then soap it up with gentle castle soap. Then, hose it down again until you are sure all the soap it out. Last, hang it over the fence until it is dry! Avoid direct sun which might lead to the colors fading.
Take good care of your rug. It will be in the family for generations! Imagine your grandchildren running around on it and the stories you’ll tell them of your trip.