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All You Need to Know About Berber

If you’ve ever seen the comedy “Get Him to the Greek,” you may know a song from the feature film called “Furry Walls.” Although set in a very silly context, this song talks about the comfort of carpeted, furry walls.

From the moment I saw the movie and heard the song, it always made me think of Beber carpeting. So I decided to share some “Jeopardy” worthy info with you, my dear readers.

Early Berber carpets came from the northern part of Africa where the Beber people spent hours creating hand spun wool. They used this wool to create all types of textiles and clothing items, including the Berber carpet.

Modern Beber, now made world wide, still features that thick, wool fluff feeling—although now offered in both synthetic and natural fibers. When laid across the floors in your home, because of its thick loop design, it offers extreme comfort, durability and long life.

Beber carpeting, made of either synthetic or natural wool materials, adds that super comfortable, furry feeling to your home (whether it covers the floors or walls). When you step into Beber carpet, you feel the soft caress and gentle support of its hand-looped fibers.

So if you want that furry, super comfortable feel in your home, consider the coziest of all carpet styles, Beber. If you’re lucky you may even get, as the song says, your “furry walls to kiss you goodnight.”

The Origins of Natural Dyes

Ever wonder where that beautiful red in your rug comes from? If your rug is colored with natural dyes then it could likely come from small insects called Cochineal or Kermes. Natural dyes are often used in hand area rugs because of their bright, lasting colors and the beautiful variation in colors that makes a rug unique.

Although rugs and other fabrics have been dyed brilliant colors for thousands of years, synthetic dyes have only been developed in the past 200 years. Before the 19th Century, almost all dyes were derived from plants, animals or minerals. Here’s a list of the most common sources for natural dyes.

Red – Cochineal and Kermes (insects), madder, redwood bark and Brazil wood (plants), cinnabar and lead oxide (mineral).

Orange – Henna (plant)

Yellow – saffron, safflower, tummeric weld and many other plant sources, ocher (mineral)

Green – a mix of blue and yellow dyes, or malachite (mineral)

Blue – Woad (plant), lapis lazuli and asurite (mineral)

Purple – Although purple can come from mixing red and blue dyes, the Royal Purple that is famous in royalty comes from the secretions of a sea snail. Since this purple is exceptionally rare and expensive it was saved for the highest classes.

Carpet Use Throughout History

Though carpets are most commonly used today as home floor coverings, historically, they have had an
array of other uses that have contributed to their rich history.

The practice of hanging and displaying carpets as treasured artwork originated prior to the 17th century when carpets hung from castle walls as decorative pieces, and lay flat on tables, benches, and trunks as artistic coverings.

Other historical sources point out that carpets and rugs were used as curtains, blankets, canopies, saddle covers, and even tomb covers for those that could afford the fine art.

In addition, carpets also had many regal purposes as their value and intricate weavings were highly prized by aristocrats and royalty. In such cases, carpets were sometimes used as tribute money, gifts from one state to another, and ground coverings for special ceremonies.

In the US, during the 19th century, a new use for carpets came about along with the term “carpetbagger.” This term, designated for opportunist Northerners arriving in the Southern US with their belongings in bags made of old oriental carpets, has remained a term still in use today. Along with this term, the trend of using old carpets as material for bags and luggage has continued in women’s fashion.

A departure from these traditional uses of carpets, today, different types of carpets are used for soundproofing music studios, Astroturf carpet is used in stadiums and other playing fields in replacement of grass, and cat-scratching posts for beloved pets.