Curious about the beauty of Berber carpets? In Morocco, Algeria, Libya, and Tunisia, Berber carpets and rugs have decorated the floors of oases and homes ever since the Paleolithic era. Here, we’ve compiled everything you need to know about this carpeting, named after its original users—the Berber tribe of North Africa’s Barbary Coast whose members spun cloth and rugs from various natural fibers.
First of all, it’s crucial to understand that Berber refers to a type of carpet weave, rather than a type of carpet itself. In fact, Berber carpeting comes in many different carpet fiber types: nylon, wool, polyester, polyprophylene (Olefin), and more. A trademark loop construction creates the classic, woven and knotted look distinct to traditionally woven Berber carpets. As a customer, you have plenty of options when it comes to the size and arrangement of those loops—Berber carpeting comes in a wide variety. Berber rugs typically contain small flecks of dark hues against lighter background colors, which results in a natural and traditional look. Check out some great styles on Houzz.
These days, Berber rugs come in a wide array of color mixes, and are relatively cheap and durable. This makes them a popular choice for areas with significant traffic and wear, such as offices. Besides their resiliency and relatively low cost, Berber carpets are fairly easy to clean. Why is this? Because of its looped construction, spills tend to sit on top of the carpet pile. Which means that as long as you clean up right away, you’ll be able to prevent spills from sinking deep into the fibers. And, in the event that you get to it late, Berber’s traditional flecked and multicolored look is ideal for hiding soil and spills!
While “Berber” has become synonymous with loops, not all Berber carpets have loops. “Cut Berber,” also known as “California Berber,” is indeed loop-less. Some varieties of Berber rugs are made with loops as well as cut-loops. They’re thus known as “Cut and Loop” Berber rugs. Those styles featuring a repeating pattern are known as “Patterned Cut and Loop” Berber carpeting. Such options tend to be costly, but quite elegant and beautiful.
Typically, Berber is priced by knots per square meter. Tunisian Berber is known as one of the best—and knottiest—varieties of Berber carpet on the market. These stunningly detailed rugs are made from wool, camel hair, silk, and more. (In fact, highest-quality silk berber carpets boast up to 250,000 knots per square meter!)
One disadvantage of Berber carpet is its susceptibility to snagging and/or running. Because of its loop construction, you’ll want to avoid dragging furniture or, say, letting a toddler drive a Big Wheels across Berber carpeting. You may also want to consider how Berber carpet and your pet’s claws will interact. You’ll want to clip Kitty’s and Fido’s nails (and make sure Kitty has other places to scratch, too). Another drawback is that, depending on its fibers, Berber isn’t quite as soft underfoot as a cut pile carpet.
Still, Berber carpets lend home and commercial spaces character, history, and value. Our experts at Crystal Carpet & Flooring Company are happy to tell you more about Berber carpeting. Get in the loop—visit our showroom or call today at (910) 685-7353.