How to Spot a Fake Amazigh Rug?
As Moroccan Amazigh rugs are becoming more popular around the world, sellers are taking advantage of it and selling fake rugs for a lower price yet a bad quality to people who know less about this art and are eager to get their own Masterpiece.
Here are a few tips on the difference between an authentic Moroccan rug and a counterfeiter European rug.
Key Elements of Moroccan Amazigh Rugs
These fake rugs are industrial "Amazigh design" instead of the actual real Amazigh rugs. They are a pure imitation of the design, symbols, patterns and not the process that might take up to months in order to make only one piece, or the material which is all-natural.
The material used to make the real Amazigh rugs is natural wool, which is soft, silky, and pet and kids friendly. On the other hand, the fake ones are made of polyester or nylon... which is called synthetic wool. Natural wool stays a lifetime, whereas synthetic wool has a short determined life span.
How to Differentiate Between the Two?
There is an easy trick you can try in order to know what kind of material you have in your hands before you purchase a rug. Take a small string of the rug and burn it, if it lights up it means it is synthetic wool, if not it means it is natural wool. This trick is well known, so sellers in Moroccan souks would not mind the experiment if they are confident about the quality of the products they have.
The Moroccan Amazigh rugs are handmade by local women for most domestic uses. To make sure that you got your hand on one, flip it over where you can see that the knotted are irregular as these women who made the rugs do not follow a specific pattern because they are not trained to make them, they were are self-taught and most of them are illiterate. Make sure that the rug has a fringe as it is a must finishing touch and it looks random and imperfect. These local women get creative along with the making of the rug, not like a machine that already has a specific design to perfectly follow so the design is obviously non-symmetric.
The price of the real rugs is a bit higher than the fake ones. As the whole process of making is much easier and takes a couple of machines but the real rugs will take much more time to be done and by several local women. The material is also cheaper as the real rugs are being made with natural wool which is better quality-wise and more expensive for the fact that it lasts a lifetime.
How to Get Your Hands on One?
To get your authentic Moroccan Amazigh rug you should go for either a long rug hunting in the souks even though you might find fake rugs in there as well. Or go to the women's cooperatives in the Atlas where you can find not only real rugs but also the people who made it, and it would be an opportunity to get to know the culture and watch the process of the making. For some, however, going all the way to Morocco only for a rug is kind of pricey. That's why the addition of online marketplaces made it easier to shop Moroccan rugs from the comfort of your home.
By purchasing an authentic Moroccan rug; you will add a perfect traditional, yet modern touch to your space, and you will own a masterpiece that nobody else has, and that tells a story that nobody knows. You will also help the local women who gave their lives to the creation of these rugs, to keep this art alive, support their households, and most importantly, kids of these regions will be able to get proper education instead of working since an early age.
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