VIN­TAGE

We asked Souad Larusi of the epony­mous rug show­roomto ex­plain the va­ri­eties of de­signs and­what to look for­when buy­ing ( larusi.com)

ELLE Decoration (UK) - - Style | Shopping -

KILIM A generic term for rugs that are wo­ven rather than knot­ted – they do not have pile. They work well in all interiors, par­tic­u­larly when pile is not ap­pro­pri­ate, such as un­der the din­ing roomtable.

BENI OURAIN Char­ac­terised by the pre­dom­i­nant use of white and dark brown or black wool with di­a­mond shaped or lat­tice pat­terns. The thick de­signs are wo­ven in a loose­man­ner with the Ber­ber knot that al­lows themto re­main sup­ple.

AZILAL They usu­ally have an un-dyed beige back­ground with pat­terns re­flect­ing the weaver’s tribal life. They tend to be of a small tomedi­um­size (much smaller than Beni Ourain rugs). Made in a low pile with a looser struc­ture, us­ing a sym­met­ri­cal knot, they’re not durable enough for heavy traf­fic ar­eas such as hall­ways.

BOUCHEROUITE Th­ese rugs are made of re­cy­cled ma­te­ri­als. Be­cause of the low-cost com­po­nents, weavers give them­selves a free­hand when de­sign­ing them. The re­sults are wild, im­pul­sive and rem­i­nis­cent of con­tem­po­rary paint­ings; they are hardy and can be used any­where. Their pain­terly use of shape and colour makes themideal as wall hang­ings, too.

FIVE TIPS FOR BUY­ING VIN­TAGE 1Make sure the rug lays flat

with­out bulges. Many are made with low-grade wool, which is chem­i­cally en­hanced to look soft. The chem­i­cals strip the wool’s nat­u­ral lano­lin which gives it dura­bil­ity and are also bad for the skin. A tell-tale sign is wool that’s a dark­ish but­tery beige. 2 Check the selvedge (this is the edge that pre­vents a rug from un­rav­el­ling). If it is bro­ken or weak, the rug will fall apart. 3 In­spect the pile. Check that it is­more or less even, and not eroded in large parts. 4 Have the rugs washed, aired and re­stored. There’s noth­ing worse than pur­chas­ing a piece that is still dirty or fall­ing apart un­der the pre­text that it is vin­tage. 5 Be warned – some pile rugs and kil­ims have pat­terns in colours that may not nec­es­sar­ily be colour fast.

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