It’s a hot day in the textile quarter of Tangiers, with the occasional breeze snaking through the stacks of cloth and hanging displays. We watch local artisans sitting at their looms, weaving brightly colored threads through the warp and weft of the threads of their loom. After a lifetime of Moroccan weather, they’re impervious to the heat and focused on the task of painting a masterpiece in thread.
With over 600 tribes present in modern-day Morocco, each rug woven is unique to the style and techniques passed down within each group, creating a wondrous diaspora of shapes and colors that has become a veritable treasure trove for collectors.
The raucous colors and simple designs create striking images, bold patterns, and evoke a sense of child-like joy at celebrating life in all its shades. Many of the weavers have never received any formal training, relying on their inborn talent for composition and color. Rugs were traditionally woven for functional purposes, like flooring, warmth, and shelter, or celebratory events, like wedding gifts and displays of affection. The modern-day exodus of Moroccan textiles and patterns to other countries is no mystery to us– they’re simply gorgeous. A weaver pick up a new skein of thread, a bird calls in the distance and we walk on. With most clothing mass produced in factories by machine weavers, it’s truly a pleasure to see hand-made art take form amid the rows of vivid fabrics.