coopérative de tissage

January 26, 2010

traditionally fondouks were places where artisans or merchants would set up their workshops and studios on the bottom floor from which they would conduct their daily business, and they would inhabit the top two floors. nowadays, they don’t quite function as they once did, but you can still manage to find some remnants around the outskirts of the marrakech medina.  one such place is the coopérative de tissage, or fabric collective.

now, an artists collective is a good way to see the artisans actually working in their craft, and allows you to buy straight from them rather than a third party in a souk.  they often have set prices for their goods and it is guaranteed that a portion of the profits will go to the crafts person.  we were lucky enough to find one where our ‘guide’ was very knowledgable and helpful (but i can’t remember his name!). he explained the whole process of weaving to us, as well as describing a bit about the people that work there, such as that it is a family business and you can currently find three generations there.  having arrived just in time for afternoon mint tea (perfect timing on our part), we were invited to a cup.  i can’t really stress how much tea plays a part in their lives, we would oftentimes see people walking through the streets with a teapot and glasses bringing it back to their place of work.

i realize of course that they give you tours so you feel more obliged to buy something at the end…  i know this, i wasn’t born yesterday… but they make a very compelling argument, and the textiles are so pretty!  especially when your new scarf has all the colors of the atlas mountain region.


One Response to “coopérative de tissage”

  1. […] everywhere you went there was tartan…  i’m amazed i made it home without any of it really, but i did manage to take a few pictures of the looms used to make the famous fabric.  the size and speed at which these machines worked was incredible, much different than the smaller moroccan counterpart. […]

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