Moroccan Hassira: Discover the Beauty of Moroccan Straw Mats

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Moroccan Hassira: Discover the Beauty of Moroccan Straw Mats

There is a good chance you have never even heard of hassira, but these works of woven art are about to become a must-have home accessory. For centuries, Moroccan artisans have woven exquisite multicoloured mosaics from the palm fronds that local families harvest and spread around their fields. And now, those masterpieces can also adorn your walls. The natural texture and bohemian flair of a traditional hassira breathe life into any room and act as a true showstopper. What’s more, no two mats are the same. Every pattern has its own unique story and was handed down from craftsmen who’ve used the same intricate techniques for generations. But you’re starting to get ahead of the story. This is just the beginning, your new hassira awaits you – and your home.

The History and Origins of Moroccan Straw Mats

It is not only known for the ornamental fun that provided by colorfully knit straw mats that cover the floors and walls of Moroccan homes but it is also known that they have been made for hundreds of years. They were introduced by the nomadic Berber tribes who roamed Morocco. The women would process palm fronds into yarn and weave them into mats using a variety of colors to add geometric accents. As the tribes moved, they would make and roll the mats to take them. The mats from the High Atlas region, formed by the dwarf palm, are coarser and more grounded in style. More intricate than those from Marrakesh, where date palm fronds are utilized. Using traditional weaving techniques that involve the meticulous binding and knotting of palm fibers, Moroccan straw mats are still made by hand today.

Owning an authentic Moroccan straw mat allows you to bring a piece of this rich heritage into your own home. However, there are a few things to keep in mind:

  1. Look for mats made of natural palm fibers, not plastic. Natural mats may cost more but are of far superior quality.

  2. Check that the mat is handmade. Machine-made mats lack the artistry and durability of handcrafted ones.

  3. Consider the region and tribe. Mats from different areas have distinct styles, colors, and patterns. Choose one that appeals to your personal tastes.

  4. Properly care for your mat. Avoid excessive heat or dampness. Vacuum regularly and spot-treat any stains. With proper care, a Moroccan straw mat can last for decades.

Steeped in culture and handmade with skill, Moroccan straw mats make a wonderful addition to any home. Their naturally vibrant hues and intricate textures are sure to brighten your space for years to come.

Vintage Moroccan Rug 6.7 X 12.7 Feet

How Moroccan Straw Mats Are Made

Moroccan straw mats, or hassiras, are fine floor coverings handwoven from palm fronds. Craftsmen make one by first harvesting fresh palm fronds, which they then let dry for a few months. They are next separated into thin strips and dyed in bright colors using natural pigments, such as henna, saffron, and pomegranate. The dyed strips are next woven together on a wooden loom to create a large hassira. The craftsmen weave by passing each strip over and under one another to build complex geometric patterns. As they work, they use small hammers to tap each new strip into place. The work of crafting hassira can last many months for a single large one, but the resulting product is both attractive and long-lasting. Hassiras come in many sizes, ranging from tiny decorative mats to enormous floor rugs, thus a suitable one can be found for any room.

What makes hassiras so unique is their bright, colorful patterns. No two hassiras are the same. The patterns are not pre-planned, and the craftsmen do not follow any specific design. When creating, they let their imagination run free. That being said, the most popular patter styles include:

• Diamond shapes. Bright colors in diamond repeat.

• Geometric shapes. Every shape from octagons to rhombus is employed;

• Floral. Stylized leaves, vivid flowers

• Berber symbols. Popular among Berber tribals, symbols like Berber star or “a free man” sign are easily recognizable. As such, if you want some Moroccan style and craftsmanship in your home, a colorful hassira ora mat is the answer. Each one is special and will last a long time to come.

Types of Moroccan Straw Mats: Hassira, Hareer, and Halfa

Morocco is known for its beautiful handcrafted straw mats, called hassiras. These mats come in three main types: hassira, hareer, and halfa.


Hassiras are flat, tightly woven mats made from palm fronds. They have intricate geometric patterns and come in vibrant colors like red, yellow and green. Hassiras are most commonly used as decorative wall hangings, placemats or seating mats. The palm fronds make them durable yet flexible.


Hareer mats have a loose, coarse weave made from halfa grass. They have an organic, textured look and are usually left uncolored in their natural tan shade. Hareer mats are ideal as floor coverings, bedding or seating mats. The open weave makes them breathable in hot weather. Hareer mats will soften over time and develop a patina as they age.


Halfa mats are tightly woven from halfa grass and have geometric or abstract patterns. They range from simple stripes to complex mosaics. Halfa mats are thinner and more pliable than hareer mats. They are often used as seating mats, bedding, or decorative wall hangings. Halfa mats come in a variety of soft, muted colors that complement Moroccan decor.

Moroccan straw mats are an eco-friendly, natural fiber product. They bring warmth and authenticity to any space. Whether you want a decorative or practical mat, there is a Moroccan straw mat to suit your needs. Discovering these handmade beauties is part of the joy of Moroccan culture.

Uses of Moroccan Straw Mats

Moroccan straw mats, known as hassiras, have many useful applications. Their durability and natural materials make them ideal for both indoor and outdoor purposes.

Floor Coverings

Hassiras are commonly used as floor coverings in Moroccan homes and businesses. They are ideal for covering stone and tile floors, providing cushioning and insulation. Their tight weave prevents dirt and debris from passing through. Hassiras come in a variety of sizes, so you can use one large mat for an entire room or stitch smaller mats together for full coverage.


In Moroccan living rooms, hassiras are often used as casual seating for guests. They are rolled out and used as a place to sit, lounge and chat. Their firm, sturdy surface provides support and comfort without the need for additional cushions. For a more formal living room, hassiras can also be used under upholstered chairs and couches.

Outdoor Use

Hassiras are naturally resistant to weather, stains and fading, making them well-suited for outdoor use. They are commonly used in courtyards, patios and entryways. As door mats, they help wipe dirt and debris from shoes before entering a home. They also provide comfortable and decorative seating in outdoor entertaining areas when rolled out on the ground. Their tight weave prevents grass and weeds from growing through.


Hassiras are intricately patterned used as decorative wall hangings or table runners in Moroccan houses. They add a splash of color and life to any room with their tribal patterns and colorful geometric designs. Smaller hassiras can be framed or hung on walls as art. As stair runners, they are a popular choice for hallways and headboards. Moroccan straw meets the lines of all houses from floor to ceiling, from inside to outside, and are fashionable and functional for countless interior and exterior applications. Known for their resilience and versatility, Moroccan weaving has been a fundamental furnishing element for generations. All the many uses may help you enhance your home’s appearance.

Caring for Your Moroccan Straw Mat

To keep your Moroccan straw mat looking its best, some basic care and maintenance are required. Here are some tips to properly care for your new mat:


Vacuum your mat regularly to remove dirt and debris. For stuck-on stains or spills, blot with a damp cloth to absorb as much as possible. Let air dry completely. Avoid soaking the mat, as this can damage the straw. For stubborn stains, make a paste from water and baking soda or water and white vinegar and apply with a cloth. Let sit for several hours or overnight and then wipe clean with a damp cloth.


Rotating your mat 180 degrees every few months will help prevent uneven wear and fading over time. This is especially important for mats placed in direct sunlight. Rotate the mat so the side facing the window is now facing inward.


If storing your mat for an extended period, roll it up and keep in a dry, well-ventilated area. Avoid stacking heavy objects on top, as this can cause creasing. It is best to lay the mat flat if possible.


For small tears or holes, you can apply a patch to the underside of the mat using a strong double-sided tape, fabric glue, or by stitching into place with a needle and thread. Trim the patch to size so it does not show through on the top side of the mat. For more significant damage, it is best to consult an expert in Moroccan mat restoration.

Natural Fading

Over time, natural straw mats will fade when exposed to sunlight. This is normal and will give your mat a rustic, weathered look. To slow fading, rotate your mat as suggested and limit direct sun exposure when possible. Natural fading adds to the beauty and charm of Moroccan straw mats, showing their handcrafted, organic nature.

With some simple care and maintenance, your Moroccan straw mat will provide natural beauty in your home for many years to come. Keeping it clean, rotating periodically, and repairing any minor damage right away will help ensure its longevity. Natural fading is to be expected, giving it a charming sun-kissed patina.

Decorating With Moroccan Straw Mats

Moroccan straw mats, known as hassiras, offer beautiful decorative detailing in your home. The natural texture and artistic patterns exude a sense of warmth and lively decorum. Here are some ideal decorative concepts for including these beautiful mats in the decor: use the hassira to decorate the wall as a fine piece of art. The hassiras make great wall hangings; frame a unique mat for elegance but pin several mats together on the wall with unique tacks for an earthy look. Additionally put them around as traditional floor spreads or on seating tables and garden spaces. Scatter a couple of floor mats in the living room or entrance to get colorful visuals on your floor. Further, use ordinary hassiras as an easy yet provocative floor covering on the patio, landscape porch and deck. Use hassira as an exquisite table cover. Choose a mat to drape over your coffee table or put several eclectic books or decorative housings atop the pillow table. Flow over a hassira on the rear of a sofa, chair, or cushion. Bassira introduces a Moroccan feel during an infusion of warmth while the ethnic pattern remains a focal statement. Repurpose or make hassira into baskets. Fold for a traditional African basket for any perceived use. It could be used as a magazine basket, blanket, toy system or for any storage use.

Moroccan rug 6.8 FT X 11.6 FT

Moroccan Straw Mats: A Sustainable Choice

Moroccan straw mats, also known as hassiras, are a sustainable floor covering choice. Traditionally handwoven from esparto grass, a natural and renewable fiber, these mats have been used in Moroccan homes for centuries.

Natural and Eco-Friendly

Esparto grass is fast-growing, requiring little water or pesticides to thrive. The grass is harvested and dried before being woven into mats. No toxic dyes or chemicals are used, resulting in mats that are biodegradable and compostable at the end of their long lifespan. Choosing hassiras supports traditional craftspeople and a sustainable industry.

Beautiful and Decorative

Moroccan straw mats come in a variety of natural colors, from light tan to dark brown. They are often decorated with colorful tribal-inspired patterns and geometric shapes. The mats soften the look of tile, concrete or wood floors and add warmth to any space. They work well in entryways, living rooms, bedrooms, patios and sunrooms. For high-traffic areas, place a rug pad underneath for extra protection.

Easy to Care For

Hassiras are very low maintenance. Simply shake them out or sweep to remove dirt and debris. For stuck-on stains or spills, blot with a damp cloth or sponge and let air dry completely. Avoid machine washing which can damage the natural fibers. For the best results, roll or stack the mats when storing to prevent creasing. With proper care, a high-quality Moroccan straw mat can last 10-30 years or more.

Whether you want to bring an authentic Moroccan feel to your home decor or are looking for an eco-friendly flooring solution, hassiras check all the boxes. These natural straw mats are sustainable, decorative and rich in cultural tradition. Discovering their rustic beauty may just inspire you to slow down and appreciate life's simple pleasures.

FAQs: Moroccan Straw Mats

Moroccan straw mats, also known as hassiras, are beautiful handcrafted decorations that can turn any space into an inviting oasis. However, with their intricate designs and natural materials, you may have some questions about caring for and displaying these unique works of art.

Are hassiras water resistant?

Hassiras are made from natural palm fibers, so they are not inherently water resistant. It is best to avoid placing them in areas that may get wet like bathrooms, entryways or patios. That said, light spills or splashes will typically not damage the mats. Just blot with a clean cloth as soon as possible and allow to air dry completely. For more protection, you can treat the mats with a water-resistant sealant, but test it in an inconspicuous area first to check for color changes.

How should I display my hassiras?

Hassiras make stunning wall decor and floor coverings. For display on a wall, use adhesive wall mounts, nails, or tacks to securely attach the mat in place. Make sure to mount through the edges or sturdier parts of the mat. For floor mats, no additional securing is needed for flat, indoor surfaces. Just lay the mat in your desired location. You can also layer multiple mats together for a more decorative look.

Are hassiras fade resistant?

Natural palm fibers and dyes can fade over time with exposure to light. To help prevent excess fading, avoid placing hassiras in direct sunlight when possible. Use curtains to diffuse light during the brightest parts of the day. For wall hangings, consider framing the mats with a uv-protective acrylic sheet. This creates an attractive display while protecting from light damage. With proper care, most hassiras will retain their color for many years.

How should I clean my hassiras?

Regularly clean and maintain your mats to avoid deep seaside. To clean, gently brush away any loose dirt or debris with a soft brush. If there are any stuck-on stains or marks, blot the area with a damp cloth and allow it to air dry completely. DO NOT submerge your mats in water. A much deeper cleaning can include spotting treating the stained areas before professional dry cleaning your mats. For this cleaning, use a dry cleaning service well-versed in delicate textiles and natural dyes. Do not vacuum, machine wash or bleach. Over time, with proper care and display, your Moroccan hassiras should become a family heirloom. With a little planning and effort, you could be using yours for years to come.


And that’s all you need to know about the amazing Moroccan hassira straw mats! These beautifully patterned flooring mats are not only stunning expressions of artistry but are symbols of history and tradition that stretches back hundreds of years. Next time you are renovating your home, make room for some hassira mats. Although they will make a stylish statement, they will also give you an opportunity to share in the craftsmanship of the Moroccan tradition. And since no two mats are exactly alike, you are sure to have something that is truly unique. Moreover, when your friends and family come over, it can be a great conversation starter on the intricate work that went into making it. Who knows, it may be that one thing that kicks off a journey to Morocco for them! Go ahead, buy some hassiras for your home.