The Traditional Berber StoolDo you know the typical Moroccan footstool? An institution in Morocco. The common name is the beldi stool.Morocco is proud of its various artistic handicrafts. And it can be. But those small low ottomans are rather part of everyday life and popular Moroccan artisanship. This does not reduce their value. They are used for a long time to work and rest. Moroccan people, primarily men, sit in front of their houses or shops. Open your eyes; you’ll see them everywhere.You can also see street vendors in the working-class areas. They sell their small production of as many footstools as they can carry on their backs.The base consists of four roughly carved wooden legs connected by one or two crosspieces on each side.Artisans use eucalyptus or bay laurel wood to make these seatings. The wood is raw and has a light, almost white color.The seat is laterally woven and made of twisted palm doum rope. Traditional Berber stoolIn these days and age where people want authentical, natural, and handcrafted goods, the Moroccan footstool has been promoted and has taken its place in our interiors.Tradition in the Service of the ModernityMoroccan handicrafts know how to adapt. Far from remaining on its assets – recognized beyond its borders – Morocco uses ancestral techniques to perpetuate its craft while installing it permanently in the twenty-first century.Thus, modernist variations were born starting from this “cheap” stool using the know-how of various Moroccan craftsmen—no limit except our imagination.Stools VariationsFor about fifteen years we can see several kinds of these seatings. First were the benches, chairs, armchairs, and tables made with the same materials: light wood base and twisted rope weave. Afterward, the makers diversified and offered stools and other furniture made with different braiding techniques: leather, recycled fabric, colored nylon cord.Leather WeavingWhether made in natural or tinted leather, the ottomans are woven by intertwining bands more or less wide into a more or less tight pattern.Morocco is famous for its leather. From the tannery to the leatherworking, Moroccan craftspeople have worked with leather for centuries. Goat, sheep, cow, lamb, dromedary are the main leathers worked in Morocco.Berber stools are generally made of sheep or lamb leather. Boucherouite WeavingBoucherouite weaving is a weaving technique used to make Berber domestic rag rugs.These rugs use rag strips and yarns from recycled clothes and fabrics. They often show exuberant colors. Just like the footstools braided with the same method.So this is recycling and even upcycling. A plus in our society more and more concerned by ecology. The weaving is thick because the raw material is composed of fabric strips. Nylon Rope WeavingThe nylon rope weaving came out a few years ago. It allows a thinner braiding than Boucherouite weaving. This way, the design is precise, less rough. I don’t like the “industrial” side of it very much, but sometimes the realizations are so delicate that I can not resist. Hand crocheted (small low aqua stool in photo) or classic interweaving, craftspeople work on different techniques and propose many other creations. New VersionsFinally, I would like to show you these two realizations I love, mainly because they witness the talent of Moroccan artisans. These ones are contemporary inspired. Basketmakers constantly reinvent new techniques and products. Look at the African design of this small bench.The base forms a trapezoid, far from the traditional basic shape to get closer to a contemporary ethnic design. Here the fiber is the same; only the weaving method changes.The twisted palm rope is traditionally interlaced but in an airy way and doubled for better comfort. A simple refined bench. How to Integrate it in my InteriorThe great advantage of these small ottomans is they are versatile. They are light and easy to carry and handle. As an occasional seat, a small table, in a bathroom, or at the end of a sofa, they can be integrated into the whole house: as a bedside table to put your books to read, next to the bathtub to place towels or cosmetics, in the living room to put the remote control or the TV tray.They also bring a nice natural touch as a plant stand.They are also ideal for children. Their small size and lightness make them the perfect seating for a child’s room. Or in the living room foto be near Mummy and Daddy.And there is a stool for all of us; the choice in materials and weavings is really huge. Take a Boucharouette woven stool if you want to add a splash of color to your kid’s bedroom. You have a preference for neutral tones and a minimalist look? Choose the woven leather one. If you have a natural home, select one made of traditional woven doum. In doum fiber and wood, they add Ethnic and Boho hints. With the colorful version, a fanciful and playful touch.Think about bench seats for storage, as a coffee table, or at the end of the bed. Useful for settling your plants or taking off your shoes in the hallway. Chairs, armchairs, or tables will brighten up your terrace or patio. The palm one will support staying outside, but will last less long and take a grey tint with time and weather.