Friday, 27 November 2009

The carpets of Beni Ouarain

Posted by Tania Kindersley.

Today I learned something new, a sensation I always adore. A very glamorous interior
designer called Camilla Guinness arrived at my cousin's house, trailing fabrics and trimmings and intricate sketches. She also had a large, monochrome bundle.
'What is that beautiful thing?' I said.
'Ah,' she said. 'That is a Berber rug.'
I suddenly realised I had absolutely no idea what a Berber rug looked like.
This one was a very pale stone colour, with a slightly thicker pile than one might
imagine, and a delightful geometrical pattern. I wanted at once to lie down on it.
'And where do you get the special Berber rugs?' I said. 'Do you have a Berber man?'
She nodded. 'Yes,' she said. 'I have a Berber man.'
(By which I inferred that there is a helpful fellow who sources these gorgeous objects for her, rather than an actual gentleman of Berber extraction over whom she has some kind of sinister hold.)

If you look about on the internet, you can see that the Berber rugs come in many different flavours. There are slightly dull bog standard kilim types, hideous Persian-gone-crazy types, and then the glorious Beni Ouarain variety like the one I saw today, sometimes known as white giants, made by the nomadic tribes of the Middle Atlas. What could be more romantic than that?

As I am always in pursuit of facts, I am now very happy that I know who the Beni Ouarain are, and what their beautiful carpets look like.

For more information, follow these links:

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