The most recent addition to Babakech Rugs' collection comes from the far reaches of the Beni Ourain region, where the loin loom distinguishes textiles from the rest of the country's weaving tradition. Sourced from a collective of women weavers who pass their craft down from generation to generation, the Beni Ourain rug strikes a perfect balance between timeless styling and traditional technique that embodies the distinguishing character of our rugs.
The Beni Ourain region stretches across the Middle Atlas mountains in the rugged terrain of east Fes. The area excels in providing natural materials that are sourced to make the Beni Ourain rug, and thanks to the masterful skills of local weavers and a little bit of collective organizing power, the traditional textiles of the region are making a new mark on the global marketplace.
Beni Ourain's master female weavers Handmake beautiful rugs that reimagine traditional designs by finding versatility in the simplicity of their looms.
Beni Ourain is the name of a collection of several Berber tribes, each with its own set of designs and motifs that represent fertility, protection, gender, age, and other characteristics of the weaver. These symbols provide weavers in Beni Ourain with an almost limitless library of design ideas. Female weavers have an incredible ability to translate traditional designs into warp and weft in novel ways, resulting in new, timeless designs that are rooted in tradition.
Until recently, the Beni Ourain rug meant little to anyone outside the region. To those in the know, however, the term now refers to a craft product that preserves cultural heritage, supports a large community of weavers, and showcases exquisite craftsmanship, thanks in large part to weaving collectives. The female-based cooperative we've partnered with was founded to support Beni Ourain's women weavers and bring their rugs to the world. They obtain natural, raw materials, handle packaging and finishing, work out shipping logistics, and much more so the weavers can focus on their craft.
Beni Ourain rugs are woven on vertical looms, simple devices made of sturdy wooden frames, meticulously designed to support the intricate weaving process. The looms typically feature adjustable mechanisms that allow weavers to manipulate the tension and size of the woven rug. To manipulate the warp and weave the weft, a couple of hand tools are used. The looms serve as a sacred foundation for the creation of these extraordinary rugs, capturing the essence of the Beni Ourain rug tradition and bringing warmth and beauty to countless homes around the world.
No matter how popular Beni Ourain rugs are, at the end of the day, It's a mixed bag of opportunities and challenges for the rural weavers. On the bright side, the demand for their rugs has skyrocketed in recent years, which means more income. They're making bank by setting up cooperatives, selling their rugs internationally, and making sure they get fair prices. It's like a carpet revolution! However, it's not all rainbows and unicorns. Some weavers still struggle to get the dough they deserve. They face hurdles like getting loans, knowing the best markets to tap into, and dealing with cheap knock-offs that flood the market.
Our partner cooperative's values align with our mission to revive the art of handmade and support sustainable micro-economies from seed to stitch. The natural dyes used on the all-natural wool yarns are completely harmless to the environment and the people who work with them. The timeless designs will never go out of style and will complement any modern decor. Being a part of the cooperative guarantees the weavers a steady and healthy income, allowing them to pursue weaving professionally. We fell in love with these beautiful, functional rugs at first sight, and our love grew deeper as we learned more about them, and we're excited to allow you to do the same.