RU  UK  EN
Статьи  >  Imagine  >  Leather Tanneries in Fez: Rainbow palette of the East

Leather Tanneries in Fez: Rainbow palette of the East

Автор: 02.02.2020 | travel, Morocco
Ancient Fez medina is firmly holding time in a criss-crossing maze of tiny alleyways and picturesque shops. The medieval town of craftsmen does not recognize modern technology, however, it is not difficult to trace a full production of cute handbag with embossed lettering. The leather for souvenir is produced there, in courtyards, and at a reasonable cost a tannery owner would reveal details of folk art with a millennial history.

The Kingdom of Morocco since ancient times was famous for craftsmanship and creativity of leather tanning. The town of Fez, surrounded by endless pastures, was inhabited by skilled artisans who purchased inexpensive raw material of good quality from nomadic tribes. Apparently, Moroccan tanners learned from ancient Egyptians who practiced suede finishing of hides since ancient times.

Vessels made of suede, found during excavations of Egyptian settlements, have an affinity with the early products from Morocco, but over time the disciples surpassed their teachers. By the beginning of the 11th century Moroccans possessed effective methods of tanning and dyeing raw hides, which formed the basis for the production of amazing smooth and soft Morocco leather. The Old Testament technologies have survived till now virtually unchanged: local craftsmen stubbornly follow antiquated methods. All manipulations are made by hand, and the only available means of mechanization are hoses for water supply from river flowing nearby.tannery-fez-morocco.adapt.1900.1.jpgPhoto nationalgeographic.com

Although tourists are sure to get lost in motley ant hill of the medina of Fez el-Bali, heavy spirit of dampness and decay accurately leads any inquisitive traveller to the Chouara Tannery. So it goes, that the mixtures used to soften hard animal skins include malodorous natural ingredients such as donkey urine and pigeon droppings. Agile apprentices helpfully tray mint leaves for impressionable tourists, although a gas-helmet would be more appropriate.

Tanneries are located in courtyards and in the streets nearby there is a brisk trade in ready-made leather goods. In the bazaars there is a dizzying array of shops selling every item you could imagine from saddle bags to covers for the latest iPhone. Flat roof terraces of neighbouring houses give a breath-taking view of the rows of mud baths, preserved since Marinids dynasty. Honeycomb of pits, filled with coloured liquids, is reminiscent of palette with watercolours; freshly painted leathers drying on terraces, look like mischievous blots showing through on the stone fabric.Leather-Tanneries-of-Fez-in-Morocco-copy.jpgPhoto kathmanduandbeyond.com

The workshops, to be honest, are dirty, but each leather item is surrounded by care and attention. Miraculous transformation of slimy animal skin lump into exclusive collection of handbags or Moroccan poufs much favoured by designers, is preceded by a series of puzzling procedures worthy of high-end spa. However, at the entrance there is a strict face control: trespass is strictly prohibited for pork skin! Processing welcomes only leather of sheep, goat, cow and camel - clean animals, the meat of which is eatable by the Koran.

Preparation of leathers for dyeing begins with a long soaking in quicklime, destroying hair follicles and protective animal fat layer. To soften calloused animal skins, they use a hell of a mixture based on a concentrated salt solution with the addition of organic nitrogen. At this stage, very important is a keen eye of an experience master: the slightest overexposure may damage the work piece. To assess readiness, leathers are sometimes removed from the bath and washed thoroughly with fresh water at the reels acidified with lime juice. Tanners then scrap away excess hair fibres and fat in order to prepare the skins for dyeing. In total fat and salt leaching from the deep layers of the dermis, takes about a month.Visiting-the-leather-tannneries-of-fes-morocco-8-1422x800.jpgPhoto feztannery.com

After a short drying raw hides are placed into a tanning bathes, managing to change at least a dozen of vats while moving from weak translucent solutions to strong concentrated potion abruptly smelling of tar. Selection of active agents depends on the destination of the material. Especially valuable items selected for tailoring clothes and traditional Moroccan slippers, known as chuviaks with curled toes, are treated with a chromium compound, after which leathers becomes supple, stretchy and soft to the touch. When tanning haberdashery raw hides, they use extracts of oak bark, chestnut and fir with a high tannin content, which increases the capacity of skin elasticity. As a result, bags perfectly keep their shape and elegant patterned ottomans puffs sold unstuffed, meekly tolerate transportation being folded.

Each colour is derived from natural sources like plants and trees: red dye is obtained from paprika, green comes from mint, brown from mimosa bark, and the combination of saffron and pomegranate peel gives different shades of yellow. Mixing dyes in different proportions, craftsmen receive complex multi-faceted tones that rival brightness of industrial dyes. On the market square, the mill operates all day long, it grinds dried vegetable ingredients for toners.morocco-land-of-colour.jpgPhoto theceomagazine.com

Dyeing of sheep skin and goat skin takes about a week; cow skin needs twice as long, and camel skin gets dyeing for a month. From time to time tanners jump into a dye-filled pit and trample raw hides achieving an equal distribution of the pigment over the entire thickness of the leather item. At the same time, they work on finishing of Marocco leather: oil infiltration and rubbing wax prepare leathers for a fight with the elements, protecting the southern juicy dyes from fading. Thoroughly rinsed and freshly processed leather dries quickly leaving cutters without a moment's peace.

Although bargain in craft shop is the sacred right of a tourist, it is useful to recall the working conditions of dyers, who gave a start in life for a pretty purse with ethnic ornament. Swimming against the current of the river of time, is a luxury which has to be paid for, and the coin is a fairly modest fee compared to squandered health and chronic poverty.Colourful-Street-in-Fez-Morocco-Itinerary.jpgPhoto moroccotourholiday.com

Cover photo independent.co.uk

Вам это будет интересно:
Stroll Around Dungeons of Europe: Paris, Berlin, Prague
Sauntering through picturesque nooks of Grand Dame Europe we look around without even suspecting how many interesting things there are beneath our feet. If you are annoyed with standard tours that include marathon race around museums and monuments, we suggest you have a look at good Old World from a different perspective. Or more specifically, look under its feet.
Tibet. Mountains that speak with heaven
Tibet… what are you mulling over while articulating this name, drawing it in your mind mentioning the concept involved in the mild space of clouds?Tibet… There are mountains that seem to be speaking with the heaven. Here everything is penetrated with the religion and different beliefs such as culture, art, folk traditions and customs.
Provence: from Marseille to Monaco
Mon amour, mon ami… All most beautiful words and songs of love sound in French. Review every curve of France and find privacy in province of Provence that gently swings in the south-east of Brigitte Bardot and Antoine de Saint-Exupéry. Ancient cities from Marseille to Monaco are penetrated with lyric antiquity so ideas of staying at Côte d’Azur keep coming back to your head.
Departure: Balchik
If you like having rest in Bulgaria but haven’t picked a town to stay in, try and do it in Balchik. It will suit those who value cozy yet non-costly trips without a flow of holiday-makers and an empty pocket afterwards. And the town’s ancient age together with unique landmarks will create a great alternative to sun and sea bathes.
Chefchaouen: Moroccan City Made of Skies
Majority of people associate Morocco with either red or yellow – Africa, after all, heat, sand, spices and so on as the list goes. But it only happens in heads of tourists who have never visited an amazing city with such a pleasant and tender name as Chefchaouen. After that one the whole country seems to be a single cloud.
The most exciting resorts in Mexico: Surf's Up!
Mexico is a hot and passionate country. At least, legendary Mexican soap operas have contributed to this image. It is time to go there and get your own unforgettable experience that will forever stir your soul! Mexico is a country in the south of North America washed by the Pacific Ocean, the Caribbean Sea, the Gulf of California and the Gulf of Mexico. Surfers say the waves are amazing there...
Bulgaria: Feel all country tastes
Bulgaria rests on two pillars: beautiful nature including perfect beaches and thousand-year history. There are mystical and magnetically attractive places, vibrant discos and nature reserves. We invite you to check out our list of unexpected ideas for holidays to discover all faces of Bulgaria.
Louvre and Big Ben are for wimps: The most hardcore tours and routes
While on a trip, willy-nilly you take one of the local excursions. Big promises of travel agents and reviews on sites for travelers do not always help compose a correct picture of your destination. Today we will get you ready as we selected the most amazing trips in the world.
World ghettos: Little Italy a la New York
When moving to a new country, more often than not people tend to get settled nearby emigrants like themselves. It is pretty convenient: accommodation isn’t expensive, job can be found right on the location and there is no need to study a new language – everyone around understands you. This is how national ghettos appear.
12 reasons to drop everything and go to Helsinki
One can get from Kyiv to Helsinki by car in less than a fortnight. In day and a half by railway. For more impatient travelers planes exist. Several airlines fly from Ukraine to Lapland. By sky it will merely take you two hours to reach crystal surface of the Gulf of Finland, famous saunas and clothes made of deerskin.
Baby, where’s your la-la-land: TOP-5 space places on Earth
Beaches, forests, deserts are not enough to say that you have already visited many parts of the earth. Definitely, you wanna something extraordinarily special? Why not! Humanity has flown into space a long time ago! Frankly speaking, the journey to Mars will seem too expensive even for a millionaire. After all, a trip outside the Earth costs the budget of a personal island.
Balkan constellation: 5 vibrant cities of the peninsula
Often the Balkan countries are deemed to be something very close to us in terms of mentality, culture and traditions, that traveling there seems to be something second-rate, no match for a trip to Europe, or to some islands. However, today we would like to tell about magic Balkan cities that can compete with the much favoured tourist centres!
Several facets of a multi-faceted Boston
Impressions of this city depend much on what you have visited before being introduced to it. After Los Angeles it may seem very business-like and culturally rich, after New York – provincial and old-fashioned somehow. In any case, it has a bright and memorable face of a gentleman from Massachusetts.
Iguazu Falls - Niagara Has Room for Improvement!
5 tons of water fall off into the ravine every single moment, roaring, raising steam and disseminating spatter in all directions. ‘Liquid wall’ of Iguazu Falls extends its crescent on the border of Argentina, Brazil and Paraguay.
Departure: Slovenia
Having taken tens of millions of visitors in a couple of hundred years, the Postojna Cave made Slovenia being proud of it because of the main tourist attraction in the whole country. The maze of stone tunnels, halls and corridors, carved by nature itself, plus modern services for guest travelers have made these grottoes one of the most popular in the world.
10 facts about Serbia
Balkans is the travel destination that is becoming more and more popular year by year. Perhaps, every traveler has its own favorite countries of the region, however, we cannot avoid telling about the main state of this semi-island Serbia.
Departure: Kyrgyzstan
Kyrgyzstan is called Middle Asian Switzerland. Mountains, rivers, waterfalls, caves, cols and green meadows aren’t a speck inferior in terms of aesthetics to European ones yet travelers haven't duly appreciated this country so far. Across-the-board exploration of the land by the state’s guests has only just begun. And alongside hotels that are being swiftly erected, ordinary yurts are still offered for residence to feel local natural.
Rice canvas. Tambo Art
The Japanese are very creative people, especially when it comes to rice. If they have some extra spare time and large spacious rice paddies, then routine process of growing an agricultural crop turns into art...
Montmartre of Belgrade
There are few ones similar to it. Around 400 meters long. With its special atmosphere. Small town inside a city. Cars don’t drive here. Here you can feel old uneven stone-blocked pavement beneath your feet with paintings on buildings around being so delusive that one cannot make out where there is a real window-balcony-door and where it is merely a picture…
Departure: Con Dao
The week passed in a desperate anticipation of vacations. I’ve been enthusiastically terrorizing GoogleMaps zooming in and out the precious dot of terrain against the background of deep blue ocean turn and turn about. At a reduced scale I saw open jaws of the Hollywood Alien, impudently teased by a midge at its very nostrils.
Закрыть
Outlook facebook page