I was so excited to buy Moroccan rugs for our house! We had held off on buying a rug for our living room because we thought we *might* buy one in Marrakech. The wool rugs with geometric patterns or the bright colored, tribal patterned rugs have become a hit on social media and Pinterest. However, a lot of the ‘Moroccan style’ rugs found online are mass produced and are not actually made in Morocco with Moroccan wool. We wanted to buy a genuine and authentic rug, made by Moroccans and that would last forever. Buying the real deal is so much cheaper to buy in Morocco.
One of the most important things to remember when buying a rug is to not accept the first price offered to you in the shop. Haggle, haggle haggle. You should expect to pay around 50-60% of the asking price of the shop owner.
We walked into three different rug shops. Just a heads up, this can be super overwhelming. There are tons and tons and tons of rugs with different styles, different textures, different colors and designs. The rugs I had pictured in my head of buying in Morocco are completely different than the rugs I actually ended up buying. I had to take a lunch break in the middle of rug shopping because I was getting hangry and realized my original rug choice wouldn’t work in my house.
The first shop we went into was one that we just stumbled upon one day. We weren’t ready to seriously look for rugs, yet, though. This shop was super overpriced, but it was good to see a few rugs to get an idea of what was available.
The next day, we went into Les Nomades de Marrakech with the intent of buying a Moroccan rug. This shop was huge! Three stories tall, I think, with tons of rooms. They started off by giving us a tour of their shop and it was cool to hear about the different styles of rugs by the different Berber tribes. However, this tour included meeting some ladies making a rug, where they encouraged us to “try it” and then expected a tip. It was cool to see the rug being made, but it was annoying to be expected to tip inside of a store, and made me immediately distrust them. We did go into a room to look at a bunch of rugs, which was a pivotal point in my Moroccan rug search. I saw so many different styles and it was there that I realized I needed to change my vision.
This is where my lunch break came in. Read this post on where to eat in Marrakech. Once we saw all of the styles in the shop, we knew we couldn’t get the off-white plush wool rugs we initially wanted. Our two black-lab mixes would have turned that rug into a gross brown/black haired mess within a few months. Our lunch break was perfect because it gave us a chance to regroup, look at Pinterest, and figure out exactly what we wanted to buy.
We also had a chance to look on Trip Advisor for another rug shop. Aux Merveilles de Marrakech had 5.0 stars and tons of great reviews. This is where we bought two rugs. With a new vision in mind, we were able to tell Driss, the owner, exactly what we wanted and he was able to find us the perfect rugs for our home. My rockstar husband really haggled the price down (I was quiet because I am a horrible haggler). For reference, the initial asking price was 17000 MAD for both rugs, but we ended up paying around 6000 MAD total.
Tips for Buying A Moroccan Rug
- Go in with an idea of the colors, style and size of the rug(s) you want. This will help you stay focused and not get overwhelmed by the many choices. Your salesperson will be able to hone in on your vision, and bring over rugs that match your desire.
- Remember that the size of your room at home will likely be smaller than the showroom you are in. Thus the rugs will look smaller in here than they will in your home.
- If you can, take a picture of your room(s) at home so you can refer to it while looking at rugs to make sure the rugs you like will match your home decor.
- Haggle, haggle, haggle!! Listen to the podcast mentioned in this post for pointers on haggling in Marrakech.
- You’ll likely have to pay in cash. ATMs only allow you to withdraw 2000 MAD at a time, so you might have to make multiple withdrawal transactions.
- Do the fire test to make sure it’s authentic wool. Take out a lighter and light the rug on fire. If it doesn’t catch fire, it’s wool; if it does, it’s synthetic. Typically the salesperson will hand you a lighter if it’s real and will stop you from trying if it is synthetic.
- You can easily fly with your rug. Aux Merveilles wrapped our rugs together into a small round package with a handle that we could have checked with our luggage. We brought an extra bag that we were able to put our rugs into and checked that one at the airport. But you can also ship the rug if you feel more comfortable doing that.
Have you been to Marrakech? Do you have any other tips for buying a Moroccan rug? Leave them below!