Moroccan carpet are mostly carpets that belong to the Rabat, Meknes and Fes traditions. They show a strong turkish influence when it comes to their architecture and designs. Belonging to old traditions, they are usually framed within several borders, display a central medaillon and may also show « boxes » and inner corner decorations. The balance is organised around a double symetry, vertical and horizontal. The most reknown of those moroccan carpets are the rabati carpets, of which one, dating back to the 18th century , demonstrates their clear turkish roots.
Moroccan carpet of tribal ascendancy are « products of trade », i.e. that were woven with the idea of selling them , hence trying to match as much as possible the requirements of the potential clients ; all this while borrowing most of the colors and designs to specific cultural areas. The production of such carpets has grown enormously during the last 30 years, specially in regions such as Tazenakht and the Middle Atlas. Weavers work under the instructions of wholesale dealers, most of the time use machine spun wools and reproduce designs that have lost the charm of spontaneous creations. They are what is commonly and mostly available to the tourist market, because easily available and refurbishable. This market has even given way to « technical » creations such as the « akhnif » kilims, in the Tazenakht region, whereby a technics used in the old days for clothes (brocading) has been transposed into the making of flatwoven floor covers.
Moroccan rural carpets are those carpets tribes have been weaving for immemorial times to furbish their tents and houses, and provide confort.
A vast number of the moroccan tribes has a tradition of carpet production, using the wool of their own flocks. Not all moroccan tribes have been weaving carpets but most of those living in the High and Middle Atlas, as well as the central plains. Moroccan rural carpets are tribal carpets, each tribe or tribal confederation carrying a tradition of colors, technics, dimensions and designs. Most of those carpets are « open field » carpets which are not closed by a frame or borders ; the only exception stand with the Aït Ouaouzguit carpets, from the Jbel Siroua, who sometime in the past have been influenced by rabati carpets.
These tribal moroccan carpets are also entirely hand made, i.e. use handspun wools that have been hand dyed – when dyed, and are hand woven.
All of the tribal carpets are unique by nature : where length and width are preset in order to fill the space the rug is meant for, the design itself emerges while the carpet is being woven. It is entirely left to the weaver’s imagination and desires, is never wrong, and should the leading idea change, what has been woven is not undone but left as is and change takes place with further work. Hence this unicity and the sometime impressive strength of the overall design of moroccan tribal carpets.