Like Beni Ourain, Beni Mrirt carpets are originally woven in the Middle Atlas, the northernmost of the three Moroccan Atlas mountain ranges.
They bear the name of the tribe that created them.
Today in Morocco, the names of the tribe or village of origin are used to identify carpets, out of respect for their history. This even though the tribes are no longer so distinct and it is perfectly acceptable for a Beni Mrirt carpet to be made outside the village of Mrirt.
Historically, the style of the Beni Mrirt was also similar to that of the classic Beni Ourain: minimalist and essential designs, geometric figures. Today you can find Beni Mrirt rugs with colorful and bold designs.
But what really distinguishes these rugs and gives them their solid reputation in the world of design is undoubtedly their wool. Shiny, soft, it has a sophisticated appearance that differentiates it from the wool used in other Amazigh carpets.
Why do Beni Mrirt have this specific wool? There are three reasons and we bet that the third reason will surprise you!
- The raw material: The artisans work with high quality wool.
- The workmanship: the wool is knotted with precision, with very tight knots, for a carpet that is always very dense.
- Meticulous washing. This is precisely where the mystery of Beni Mrirt carpets lies.
Washing them is an entirely secret process. There are few who know how to wash a carpet like a Beni Mrirt and those few keep the steps and ingredients used for washing a secret. In many places in Morocco they have tried to reproduce the same techniques but often without success. A trained eye easily recognizes a Beni Mrirt washed in an authentic way, with skill.
We at Casa Amar are lucky enough to work with a cooperative that creates beautiful Beni Mrirt carpets in the High Atlas.
In this cooperative, women make the carpets while a man, Mohamed, is responsible for washing them.
Washing is generally a male task, because it can be very physically demanding. Imagine having to hang up a completely wet 20 kg wool carpet to dry in the sun! Or imagine walking in the mountains, loaded with carpets, until you reach a river, the place where all carpets were traditionally washed.
We asked Mohamed how often he washes the carpet. His response was amazing: “ It's the carpet that tells me when to stop washing it ”. Mohamed has a difficult task. In a country where water is an increasingly precious resource, you must wash well but also use water sparingly. And he manages to do it beautifully, with a passion that thrilled us from our first meeting.
The result of this meticulous workmanship and this particular wash is a dense, soft, silky carpet that makes every space it inhabits luxurious.
You can admire them in the Beni Mrirt section or come and see them live in our showroom in Milan, in via Pestalozzi 4.