porta e muro verde acqua all'interno della medina di boujaad

Travel diary: discovering Boujaad carpets

Boujaad, Morocco's city of the "thousand and one saints", is famous for its carpets with vibrant colors and surprising designs.

Boujaad (also called “Bejaad”) is a small city in Morocco, founded in the fifteenth century by Sidi Bouabid al Sharqi, a highly respected soufi master. Called the city of the “thousand and one saints,” Boujaad has for centuries been a spiritual center beloved by travelers seeking religious teachings. Its aura goes beyond the borders of Morocco, both in the Muslim world and the Jewish world.

The carpets created in the Boujaad region also have a reputation that goes beyond Moroccan borders.

Boujaad carpets are famous for their vibrant and rich colours, they are a feast for the eyes. They warm up the environment and win over the daring who want a cheerful home with a strong personality. Traditionally, Boujaad carpets were predominantly red, orange and pink, but today they can be found in all colours.

The designs depicted on Boujaad carpets are equally surprising for their great variety: regular or irregular geometric shapes, flowers, plants, abstract depictions of people and animals, symmetry and asymmetry. The artisan artist follows her heart and talks about life with great freedom.

Boujaad rugs are less dense and lighter than most Moroccan rugs. Their fur is short or medium at best and their fine wool has a very natural appearance.

During our first trip, in search of the craftsmen and women of the area, we were fascinated by the aqua green color found on many walls and doors in the medina of Boujaad.

boujaad alley with panne and teal walls and plants placed near a front door alley of the medina of boujaad

We met some local artisans, such as Mr. Bouzekri, son of weavers from generation to generation. He told us that at 20 he wanted adventures and went to be a fisherman on the coasts of Morocco. After decades he has returned to his origins and is proud of it: every Thursday, he buys used carpets and fabrics at the market and transforms them into poufs and cushions that are unique in the world.

red pouf and remnants of fabrics in a craftsman's atelier rags of fabric from transforming carpets into poufs or cushions

We met a master craftsman who received us at her home. We were particularly struck by a rug she had made more than 20 years earlier, after the birth of her first child. We asked her how she thought about creating that original and unexpected design. His response only added to our sense of wonder: “I dreamed it.”

He then showed us how to card and spin wool, with the patience and fluency of someone who has done it hundreds of thousands of times. Fascinating!

The Boujaad region has a reputation that goes beyond Moroccan borders thanks to its unique carpets and spiritual history. If you want to add a touch of fun and personality to your home, a Boujaad rug might be just what you're looking for.