Boucherouite rugs (from Arabic dialect “boucharouette” which means torn material) are handmade for home use since the early ‘50s/’60s by Berber women in the Middle and High Atlas in Morocco, using recycled materials, fragments of discarded materials, cotton, synthetic fibers and sometimes plastic, because of the difficult retrieval of traditional yarns which have become too expensive as a result of socio-economic changes in the country, which have severely impacted sheep farming and wool production.
Despite being made from recycled materials, Boucherouite rugs are far from modest. On the contrary, very often they look more like paintings than carpets to walk on. Their bright designs and colors offer amazing graphics and color references to works by modern and contemporary art masters (Kandinsky, Klee, Mondrian, to name a few).
Unlike most of the European weaving techniques based on pre-established models, Berber women realize the Boucherouite carpets without predefined designs, through the free movement of their fingers, just as different strokes create a painting. This way they can express themselves in complete freedom, without any premeditation, unleashing their sensitivity, creativity and imagination.
In the words of Frederic Damgaard in his book “Tapis et tissage, l’art des femmes berbere au Maroc”, “a Berber woman in front of her loom to a pianist in front of his piano, both compose a beautiful melody, with rhythm and harmony, with the colors and notes, their scores are flexible staff, leaving room for improvisation”.
Beautiful to hang on the wall and soft on the ground, Boucherouite rugs light up any room with their wonderful explosion of colors.