The old Berber women who weave our Beni Ourain carpets have tattoos on their faces, henna on their fingertips, and they learned how to warp a loom from their great grandmothers. They have spend their entire lives in a remote village in the Middle Atlas Mountains sipping mint tea and spinning wool. Each weaver signs her carpet with a hand-knotted symbol that matches her tattoo. Magical markings on the body are an ancient Berber beauty ritual. The same symbols adorn Berber carpets and have long captivated the design world with their bold simplicity.
It took Mohamed, founder of Imports from Marrakesh, many trips to the Atlas Mountains, to find this group of master weavers who now create traditional Beni Ourain carpets for Imports from Marrakesh. He now produces carpets directly with these experienced weavers, whose crooked genius cannot be copied. The weavers of the Atlas Mountains are the mind behind the unique talisman of a true Beni Ourain rug. You won’t find that at West Elm or Target.
Though chain stores may sell knock-offs, the sensual shaggy pile and authentic presence of a Beni Ourain carpet is impossible to replicate by a machine. Even in the souks of Marrakesh it’s ever harder to find that shimmering patina stained with henna and tea and magical spirit. Which is why we decided to start producing our own affordable Beni Ourain carpets direct from this remote village in the Middle Atlas in conventional sizes for our souk in the Chelsea Market and our online shop.