How To Spot An Authentic Moroccan Rug From A Fake
Vintage Moroccan rugs are unique and one of a kind - a true investment piece for your home. Perhaps one of the reasons that decorating spaces with Moroccan-wares has become such a popular trend is because of their versatility & ability to transform any space. They’re striking, homely and unique but they manage to suit a range of different homes. Our Moroccan vintage Boujaad rugs look as good in a Byron beach house as they do in front of a fireplace in your Melbourne townhouse.
We understand that investing in a vintage Moroccan rug can be a big step for you! It is something that will become a prized heirloom to be passed on through generations in your family. So let’s get it right, shall we? How can you be sure that the rug you’re taking home with you is truly authentic? Our Divine Tribe rugs each come with their own special story.
Before you commit, take the time to do your research. Here’s some things to look out for and questions to ask:
- Which tribe made the rug? (The city, area of Morocco, or the tribe that made the rug is usually mentioned - for example Beni Ourain? Boujaad? Boucherouite?). Every tribe has their own unique way of creating their unique tribal rugs which we discussed in a previous blog article over here.
- These are vintage heirlooms that were handmade by tribal women around 30-70 years ago. While they have been gently cleaned and restored so that they are in excellent condition - there will still be imperfections. Look for little stains of henna, candle wax or hints of restoration. These imperfections obviously shouldn't compromise the beauty of the rug but adds to the vintage charm and tells a story. A story that your rug should have (& that we can tell you).
- Is it colourfast? Authentic rugs are weaved from wool which has been hand dyed using food scraps and locally grown plants/flowers. The colours should not run or weep only synthetic dyes will bleed.
Ask what it is made of. Our particular Moroccan rugs are made from 100% sheep wool with some cotton threads. Sometimes you can find vintage Moroccan rugs made from silk, goat hair, leather, even scraps of old clothing (these particular ones are known as Boucherouite rugs). It really depends which tribe the rug came from and what access (if any) they had to wool there.
If you are prepared to, some will look for a loose hanging string on the rug and will burn it to see if it ignites. A real Moroccan rug made of wool does not ignite. On the other hand, fake Moroccan rugs are made of cheap synthetic materials. Polypropylene fiber is toxic and highly flammable, so it will catch fire quickly & easily.
Many of the older Beni Ourai rugs are only ‘fringed’ on one side (or not at all) due to the method of making them. Only in recent years have weavers started to add fringing to both sides of the rug, when requested to on custom orders.
- Turn the rug over and inspect the back. The knots on the back of a machine-made (fake) Moroccan rug will have neat, perfectly shaped knots. It may even have a hard, plastic-like backing on it. An authentic vintage rug is painstakingly hand-knotted by an artisan, it will be neat but they will vary in size. The backing of an authentic rug should be soft and its design or ‘pattern’ should mimic the front - like a mirror image.
We hope you feel a little more confident about shopping for your new Moroccan rug now. May we suggest you take a browse at our one-of-a-kind authentic Moroocan rugs here.
Divine Tribe is a New South Wales based Australian-owned boutique who carefully curates and imports handmade Moroccan rugs, vintage homewares & up-cycled bags from the Atlas Mountains & Marrakech. We guarantee our products to be genuine.