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10 Reasons to Try a Moroccan Rug

You've seen them staring up at you from the floors of some of your favorite home photos and even in posh modern hotels. Moroccan carpets have become something of an obsession among the design crowd, and if you haven't yet hopped on the bandwagon, here are 10 reasons to consider giving one a try. But first, a bit of background.

A very short history of Moroccan carpets. Authentic Beni Ourain carpets have been made by hand by the people of the Beni Ourain tribes in the Atlas mountains of Morocco for generations. Originally used as warm, comfy bed covers, these handwoven carpets are much plusher and softer than your average area rug. They are made from the wool of sheep kept at high elevations, which yields an especially thick, warm fiber in rich cream to beige tones.

The rugs tend to be decorated with geometric or abstract designs. Since the mid-20th century, they have gained in popularity worldwide and are now being mass produced by companies from West Elm to Rugs USA. If you take a look at one up close, the difference between the real deal and a mass-produced carpet will obvious: The latter tend to have more regular patterns and whiter white areas (rather than cream or beige), while the former have natural variations and a much plusher, softer feel.

Now the reasons for trying a Moroccan rug.
10. Available at all price points. If you have been drooling over authentic Moroccan carpets but the real deal is a little out of your price range, you don't need to feel left out. Retailers from West Elm (whose rug is shown here) to Pottery Barn are rolling out their own versions of these popular rugs, and some are quite high quality. I would advise checking one out in the store before you buy, so you can assess the quality for yourself.

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