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Local Weaving Techniques

Berber rugs come in three types of weaves: knot, loop, and flat. A rug’s weave is an important consideration in determining which piece is best for you and your home.

First things first: a little terminology.  You will read the words “warp” and “weft” throughout this journal entry. The warp strands are spun yarn that is held taut by a loom. They run the length of the rug and act as its structural foundation. The weft strands of a Berber rug are spun yarn that is either knotted, looped, or flat woven into the warp. The manner in which the warp and weft are woven influences a rug’s design, texture, and weight. 

The knot weave is used in Oum’s Beni Ouaraine, Bouchrouit, Tazenakht, and Zemmour rugs. Let’s focus on the Benis because most of them of constructed in this manner. Benis originally come from the Beni Ouaraine tribe, of which there are multiple regional offshoots located in the Atlas Mountains due southeast of Fez. Today, these rugs are so popular that many Berber weavers outside of this tribe have adopted the technique.

One of the Oum Team’s favorites, Lalla. She is a new 5.2 ft. x 6.6 ft. partly abstract broken lozenge pattern from the Middle Atlas region, Morocco. Made of 100% sheep wool and 100% all-natural coloring. She has a 1.2” in. plush pile and weighs in at 30.87 lbs. She is heavier because she is so densely knotted.

The side view gives you a clear sense of the weave’s density.  A rug of quality ranges from 12 to 15 knots per 10 cm, and sometimes up to 30 per 10 cm. The number of knots depends on the wool's thickness.

Now, take a look at the back. It is not plush, but flat (not to be confused with the flat weave). This is the strong foundation that is the warp around which the knots are tied.


Weavers typically tie a knot around two warp strands, but can use up to four. They razor off the ends of the fabric strands to create a uniform pile.

After 4 to 6 weeks, the knotted Beni Ouaraine is ready to sell. The end result is a luxurious piece that lasts a lifetime and can be passed down to future generations. It accommodates any space with its neutral coloring and simple design. The weaver communicates through her use of motifs, a symbolic Berber language. Learn more about "The Moroccan Berber Rug".

Every single rug is handwoven, of the highest quality, and handpicked by the Oum Team. Each is 100% ethically sourced with the utmost respect for its weaver’s technical and artistic skill.

Please do not hesitate to contact us if you need any help choosing your Oum rug.  We hope one finds its way into your heart and home.


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