One of my favorite experiences in Marrakech was buying a traditional Moroccan rug. It took several hours, and stepping into the rug shop I knew going in that it was a process that takes time and patience.

There are many cultural traditions around buying a rug in Morocco. Here’s a run down on how to buy a traditional Moroccan rug in Marrakech:

1. It starts with stepping into the shop, and hopefully the better of the hundreds of choices. There are plenty outdoor shops selling knock-off rugs that are not as high quality, so pick a good starting point and you’ll save yourself some grief down the road. I bought my rug at Dar Mejbar and highly recommend it not only for great rugs but also a pleasant experience.

2. One of the sellers in the shop or even the “owner” will come out and greet you. Enjoy this part of the process and have fun with it! Accept the offered mint tea and cheers to the process of buying the rug.

3. Take a seat or stand, as the rugs will come out one after another in rapid sequence. You’ll be asked if you want to keep it to consider (saying the word “haali”) or to send it back (saying the word “ishmaa”.) You can let them know what you like or dislike about the rugs and they will continue to present more and more aimed at what you’re looking for.

4. As you start to narrow down the rug style, you’ll have a few to decide from. At this point, vet out whether the rugs are good quality, always buy the best wool and test if it’s real. If it’s a colored rug, take a damp cloth and if it bleeds then it’s no good.

5. Decide on your final one and let the bartering begin. For reference, the one picture below that I purchased started at well over 3000 dirham and I paid 1500 dirham. If you can’t agree to a price, be prepared to walk away.


A few tips for buying a Moroccan rug in Marrakech

  • Don’t bring a guide as they will take 15% of the final price so by not having one that’s 15% more in your pocket.
  • If you plan on buying an “antique” rug be prepared to have done your research, knowing the key differentiators. A rug sold as an antique is much higher in price.
  • No rug is perfect. They are handmade by one of forty-five Berber tribes, so each one is unique with colors and sewing.
  • A rug should cost around 750-1000 dirham for a small one, a larger one can range from 1700-3500 dirham. Each one will differ in price pending the kind of wool and whether it’s an antique.

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4 Comments

    • Jessica Wright
      Jessica Wright Reply

      So I was able to fit the rug in my suitcase as I left room for it (they’re able to pack it incredibly tight) and didn’t pay for shipping..

  1. Avatar

    Thanks for this great post.It says it All. One thing that is important to keep in mind though are the people, most likely women, who make the rugs. Many resellers only

    pay the artisans the price of the materials to make the rug, so unfortunately not even enough for an artisan to feed their family. So when bargaining with resellers,

    do specifically ask who made it and where it was made. If they stutter, walk away. Another tip is to ask two separate people in the shop the same question and see if

    you get difference answers. There are some, but unfortunately few, resellers who truly take care of the artisans they source from so do your best to find these

    resellers. Of course, you can avoid all of this by using websites like craftic, which collect the products directly from artisans

    for a quite fair price, and even the final cost is much lower than what you can get in local or online stores. With sites like these, you can get a great item with a

    greater price while ensuring the artisan was paid properly. Hope this helps!

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