What is a Beni Mguild Rug? The Moroccan Guide

When it comes to Moroccan rugs, one cannot overlook the beauty, quality, and cultural significance of Beni Mguild rugs. These iconic pieces are handmade by the women of the Beni Mguild tribe, a group that …

What is a Beni Mguild Rug?

When it comes to Moroccan rugs, one cannot overlook the beauty, quality, and cultural significance of Beni Mguild rugs. These iconic pieces are handmade by the women of the Beni Mguild tribe, a group that has been producing beautiful textiles for centuries.

These rugs are highly sought-after for their intricate geometric patterns, vibrant hues, and high-quality wool.

Nevertheless, Beni Mguild rugs are one of the pieces of rug art that come to us from the millennial regions of Morocco.

Beni Mrirt, Beni Ourain, Boujad, Azilal – all these types of authentic Moroccan handmade wool rugs and their peculiarity we have already shown and talked here about. And now let’s have a look at another significant part of Moroccan Berber culture – the Beni Mguild rugs.

What is a Beni Mguild Rug?

The Beauty and Significance of Beni Mguild Rugs

The Beni Mguild (Beni M’Guild) rug is not just any ordinary rug; it holds a significant place in Moroccan culture. These rugs have been used over the years as floor coverings, wall hangings, or even as bedspreads and have become an integral part of Moroccan interior design.

Each rug is unique in its own way – from its intricate design pattern to its vibrant color scheme that can give any space an exotic feel.

beni mguild rugs
Beni Mguild rugs in the home interior; Google Images caption

They are often passed down from generation to generation as family heirlooms because they represent the rich history of Moroccan textile artistry. For tourists who visit Morocco seeking authentic artwork pieces to bring back home, purchasing a Beni Mguild rug is considered the ultimate souvenir.

History of Beni Mguild Rugs

What is a Moroccan rug called?

First things first.

Authentic Moroccan rugs are commonly called “Berber rugs” or a “Moroccan Berber rugs.”

These rugs are woven by the Berber tribes of Morocco using traditional techniques passed down through generations. But there are many different types of Moroccan Berber rugs each of them belonging to a specific region and tribe.

Some of them we already mentioned – Beni Mrirt, Beni Ourain, Boujad, and Azilal. One more Berber tribe that is important to mention here is the Beni Mguild tribe.

Origin of the name “Beni Mguild”

Beni Mguild rugs are named after a tribe from the Atlas Mountains of Morocco called Beni M’Guild.

Beni M’Guild name is Arabized from Aït M’Guild and pronounced in the Amazigh (Berber) dialect of the Middle Atlas Ayt Myill. It is a Berber tribe previously belonging to the Aït Oumalou confederation which occupied a geographical area spanning the central Middle Atlas from the upper Moulouya valley to the plateaus located south of Meknes.

The Beni M’Guild tribe is known for crafting exceptionally dense and heavy rugs, which can be attributed to the challenging climatic conditions they face in their region.

The tribe is known for its weaving traditions that have been passed down from generation to generation for centuries.

Some sources suggest, that can be just a nice story, that the name “Beni M’Guild” means “the sons of those who weave with thick wool”, but is fitting since these rugs are known for their thick pile and high-quality wool.

Another way to name the Beni M’Guild is “wool on wool rugs” which again indicates the high thickness of the Beni M’Guild authentic Moroccan rugs.

handmade wool rugs
Handmade wool rugs of the Beni Mguild tribe (Ait Mguild)

Historical Significance and Evolution of the Rug-Making Tradition

Some sources refer to the Beni M’Guild weaving tradition dating back to pre-Islamic times before Morocco was even a country. It has evolved over time due to various influences, including Arab and Berber cultures.

The tradition has been kept alive through oral histories passed down from weaver to weaver, as well as through apprenticeships.

Despite the influence of contemporary trends, many weavers still use traditional motifs and colors that have been used for centuries.

beni mguild carpets
Beni M’guild carpets; Google Images caption

Today, Beni M’Guild rugs are highly sought after by collectors and decorators around the world for their unique beauty and cultural significance. They continue to be made by skilled artisans using traditional techniques, ensuring that this ancient art form will live on for generations to come.

Characteristics of Beni M’guild Carpets

Materials used in making the carpets

Beni Mguild rugs or carpets are typically made from 100% wool in dark brown or black colors, which is sourced from the local sheep that graze in the Atlas Mountains of Morocco.

The wool is harvested by shearing the sheep, which is then cleaned and carded to remove any dirt or debris. The quality of wool used in a rug can vary depending on factors such as the age of the sheep and whether it has been exposed to harsh weather conditions.

Wool types and sources

There are two main types of wool used in Beni Mguild rugs: coarse wool and fine wool.

Coarse wool is typically sourced from older sheep that have coarser hair fibers, while fine wool comes from younger animals that produce softer fibers. The choice of which type to use depends on the desired texture and appearance of the rug.

Dyeing techniques and colors used

The vibrant colors seen in Beni Mguild rugs are achieved through a variety of dyeing techniques, including natural dyes.

Natural dyes are obtained from various plants such as indigo, madder roots, sorrel, green grapes, etc.

Design elements

One distinct feature of Beni Mguild rugs is their use of bold geometric patterns that are both eye-catching and elegant.

These designs often incorporate diamond shapes, triangles, squares, or zigzag lines that interlock with each other to create intricate patterns with striking symmetry.

Geometric patterns

The geometric nature reflects traditional Berber symbolism like fertility rites or feminine beauty with symbolic motifs such as diamonds representing women’s fertility organs or female tattoos known as ‘henna’ design.

beni mguild carpet
Handmade Beni Mguild carpet

Production Process of Beni Mguild Rugs

Preparing the wool for weaving

Beni Mguild rugs are made from high-quality wool, and the process of preparing the wool for weaving is crucial to achieving a beautiful finished product. The first step in preparing the wool is cleaning it.

This involves removing any dirt, debris, or vegetable matter that may be present in the wool fibers. After cleaning, the wool is carded, which helps to align the fibers and remove any remaining impurities.

Cleaning and carding wool fibers

Once the wool has been cleaned, it’s time to card it. Carding is a process that involves running the fibers through brushes or combs to straighten them out and remove any remaining impurities.

This step is critical because it ensures that all of the fibers will be able to be spun into yarns of consistent quality.

Spinning wool into yarns

After carding, the wool is spun into yarns using traditional spinning wheels or drop spindles.

Artisans take great care during this process to ensure that each strand of yarn is consistent in thickness and texture. The resulting yarns are then wound onto bobbins or spools so they can be used on looms for weaving.

Knotting styles

The Berber knot of Mguild carpets creates a more robust and durable rug than some other types of knots, which makes Beni Mguild rugs ideal for high-traffic areas.

Where To Buy Authentic And High-Quality Beni M’guild Carpet

Beware of Imitations: How to Spot Authentic Beni Mguild Rugs

If you’re in the market for a high-quality Beni Mguild rug, it’s important to know how to spot an authentic piece.

Some vendors may try to pass off imitation or mass-produced rugs as authentic Beni Mguild products. To avoid being scammed, make sure you purchase from reputable sources such as local artisans or trusted dealers who specialize in Moroccan carpets.

Where to Find Authentic and High-Quality Beni Mguild Rugs

As mentioned earlier, authentic and high-quality Beni Mguild rugs are produced by local artisans in Morocco.

A great place to start your search is at the souks (markets) in cities such as Marrakech, Fez, and Rabat where you can find a wide variety of Moroccan carpets including Beni Mguild rugs.

However, if you don’t have the time or resources to travel all the way to Morocco, there are still several online marketplaces that cater specifically to Moroccan carpets such as Etsy Amazon, and Chairish.

When purchasing online make sure that the vendor has a good reputation and offers details about the rug’s origin, materials used, and production process.

It’s also worth noting that while authentic hand-woven rugs can be quite expensive due to their detailed workmanship, they are often heirloom quality pieces that will last for generations if properly cared for.


Beni Mguild rugs are more than just decorative items; they represent a rich cultural heritage dating back centuries.

The artistry involved in their creation reflects the skill level of local artisans who have honed this craft over generations.

Whether you’re interested in purchasing an authentic piece or simply admiring them from afar, understanding the history and production process behind Beni Mguild rugs can add another layer of appreciation for these beautiful works of art.

So take some time to explore the world of Moroccan carpets and discover the unique beauty that each has to offer.

About the Author

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Helga is writing here all about carpets and rugs in our lives. She puts her own expertise of an ordinary human being, looks for challenges we all face in the world of carpets, does research, and puts the most valuable parts of information together to help homeowners and business owners maintain clean, fresh, and inviting spaces. We believe that a well-maintained carpet not only enhances the aesthetics of a room but also contributes to a healthier living or working environment.