Fes – Leather and Looms

Leather Souq in Fes Leather worker in a pile of hides Inside the walls of the Medina of Fes al Bali is the world's oldest tannery. The Leather Souq tannery dates back at least 9 centuries and has not changed.  The facility is a series of man-sized stone vessels filled with various tanning solutions and dyes.Leather worker in dye  Drying hides in Fes The first step starts with soaking the hides in diluted pigeon excrement to soften the leather.  Then the hides are soaked in a series of different vegetable dyes made from things like saffron, mint and henna.  The dying process dyes the hide as well as the worker.   The process is all done by hand with the men bearing the insane temperatures (well over a 100 F) while standing waist deep in the solutions all day.  To see how hard these men work for so little pay is truly a reality check for us.  We are lucky.Leather worker in Fes Traditional Leather Moroccan Slippers Another important industry in Fes is the textile looms.  They weave all the textiles for rugs, clothing, upholstery etc.  The looms are essential because textiles are needed for so many different products in the Moroccan culture.  The best part of touring these looms is all the beautiful vibrant colors, which are seen in everyday life. Moroccan TextilesMany of the yarns are hand twisted in the narrow alleys of the Medina.  It is a common site to see brightly colored strips of color stretched from a nail for a few hundred yards.  At the other end of the strips is someone at the other end busy twisting a few pieces yarn into a thicker one to be sold to the looms.Moroccan loom      

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5 Responses to Fes – Leather and Looms

  1. casey says:

    this is incredible, from the photos to the process.

  2. Sandra Wynja says:

    I have a new appreciation for leather goods.

  3. Lee Christofferson says:

    Oooo that smell.
    Can’t you smell that smell?

  4. One of the worst smells ever, we saw many people walking around with mint leaves in their noses to mask it.
    Sent via BlackBerry by AT&T

  5. Marisa says:

    Beautiful shots! 🙂 Love the vibrant colors.