Handmade Carpet Designs— Moroccan or is it Islamic?

A man wearing a colourful turban

The truth behind Islamic handmade carpet designs

Everyone right now is into “Moroccan design” and Morocco has become a popular destination for design before (covid-19). However, what do we really mean by “Moroccan design”?

Handmade carpets in Morocco are made by the Berbers community which is wildly known. Handmade carpets from Turkey, Iran, Afghanistan and Pakistan are outstanding; they have a huge variety of people making them.

What’s more, a true handmade carpet is rare to find at the right price and a good selection in the West. La Galeria del Califa in Barcelona set itself a goal to correct that.

Some people say carpets are not my thing. If you love travelling, things that warm your soul and art then handmade carpets are your “thing”.

The humble Beginning

The history of handmade carpets dates centuries back and it’s amazing this skill exists today. The purpose of the handmade carpets at first was to make the home warmer as a floor covering. The handmade carpets would make the home warmer and it was protection from the cold and dampness.

The natural progression of this incredible art, craft and skill was passed and taught to the next generation. All the knowledge gained was through peace, war and all sort of turmoil. All of the motives you will find in the handmade carpets. As the trade of the handmade developed the designs and patterns of the handmade carpets expanded and became storytelling.

What is it today?

Today, the world has been creating various machine-made carpets which you will find everywhere. Handmade carpets, on the other hand, need to be found. Unless, of course, you are somewhere like Morocco, Iran, Turkey, Afghanistan, Pakistan and other countries where they still make handmade carpets. Then, you’ll be able to stumble across a handmade carpet.

Once you do ‘stumble’ across a handmade carpet it captures your heart. Once, you fall in love with a handmade carpet the next big thing is how and where to place it. There are various claims about handmade carpets and they are referred to as “Moroccan design” or “Central Asia Designs” or even “East Designs” however, it simply is an Islamic design.

Handmade carpets that have been made in Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Turkey all have Islamic designs. When most people refer to “Moroccan design” what they really mean is Islamic.

A room with a pink carpet, a wooden chair with yellow pillow

The Brief History

“Moroccan designs” came from Al-Andalus, Spain to Morocco. After the expulsion of the Muslims or otherwise known as the Moors sophisticated designs went with them to Morocco. When you travel to Morocco all the designs and beautiful tiles come from Spain. The great proof of that is today Alhambra palace in Granada, Spain (Al-Andalus).

You’ll find all of the patterns and zelish type of style tiles in Alhambra today. In Morocco, you’ll find exact same styles in mosques and other buildings. Handmade carpets in Morocco are less sophisticated in design, details and patterns, however, they are Islamic handmade carpets made.

Other handmade carpets in Muslim countries such as Iran, Turkey, Afghanistan and Pakistan make sophisticated carpets one of a kind that truly captures imagination and soul. It’s the storytelling colours, design and patterns that grabs your imagination and heart.

Islamic Designs

Once you do get an Islamic handmade carpet you’ll want to show it off in your home. Therefore, the placement of the handmade carpet is crucial. You can put a handmade carpet pretty much whatever you like. After all, it’s your own home! However, there are some universal details you might find useful.

For instance, you shouldn’t hide the handmade carpet underneath a dining table, although you can have it if it’s your cup of tea. I wouldn’t hide a handmade carpet under the bed but put it next to it or in front of it. I wouldn’t hide a handmade carpet underneath a sofa. Instead, I’d place it in front of the sofa so you can admire it when having a lovely cup of tea.

It also depends on the design and patterns of the handmade carpet. For instance, if you have a busy pattern with bright colours in a white room that handmade carpet deserves a centre stage. If it’s a functional handmade carpet it can be used either to step into the house or right next to the bed.

Handmade carpets are art, not just floor coverings.

Therefore, you can play and see where they look best in your house and move it around.

Islamic designs in handmade carpets are outstanding. If you do venture to the places where the handmade carpets are made you’ll see the real magic. Remember, for some, it’s their livelihood. Depending on the size of the handmade carpet it takes up to a year to six months to make one handmade carpet, which in turn, lasts a lifetime.

If you cannot travel too far La Galeria del Califa has an incredible selection of handmade carpets online from Iran, Turkey, Afghanistan and Pakistan with easy shipping terms.

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