THE BERBER PROCESS

Berber women have passed their weaving craft through the generations since 600 BC. Each step is meaningful and considered. According to tradition, the weaving process gives the textiles magic, protective qualities. The women start and finish weaving with a prayer called Istikara, so that God can allow the best intentions to enter the rug. The finished piece is considered a shield from the evil eye.

THE ARTISAN
The artisan is the heart of the process. She holds the tradition and craft in her hands. As she works the loom, she makes sure that evil doesn’t enter between the threads.
THE LOOM
The looms are set up by hand, usually in the artisan’s home. They are the ultimate symbol of protection.
THE WOOL
Sheep’s wool is considered lucky. Most of our weavers use “live wool,” which means it’s taken from live sheep without harm to the animal. The wool is healthier and stronger this way.
SPINNING
The wool or fur is usually washed, brushed and spun into yarn by hand.
VIBRANT COLORS
Artisans usually dye the wool themselves using spice blends from the market. Red and pink come from variations of henna and pomegranate, blue from indigo, and green from alfalfa mixed with mint. Yellow and orange is derived from saffron and the white and gray colors are the natural wool.
THE HAMMER COMB
The hammer combs are used to tightly press the weave of the rug. They are often carved with intricate designs to avert the evil eye from the weave.
PATTERNS
The textile designs come entirely from the artisan’s imagination; they aren’t following templates. The patterns and iconography might depict the village an artisan lives in, religious symbols, or or wishes for future generations.
FINISHING
The finished rugs are doused with water, scrubbed clean and draped over wooden racks to dry in the Moroccan sun.