According to historians, Moroccan hand embroidery originated from the Berber culture as the tattoo styles, and henna designs of the Berber women’s tattoo are well reflected in Moroccan Embroidery today. Handmade Embroidery is one of the artworks Moroccan women proudly make. It is a distinctive form of handcrafted art. Handmade Embroidery is a piece of art that looks simple from the outside but isn’t straightforward in how it is made.
There is special attention given to this kind of artifact in Morocco. Thus, some associations and cooperations promote this unique artwork. This is to keep this unique Moroccan tradition from rapidly fading and disappearing. Therefore, this historically preserved traditional art passes its legacy to the younger generation.
Delicate Embroidery plays a significant role in Moroccan society and culture. It has been recognized as a cultural art and has received support to remain a long-life Moroccan tradition. Embroidery is part of Moroccan women’s identity. It is incorporated in linens and articles of clothing in almost every home.
Here are some facts about Moroccan Embroidery:
- Embroidery is made from a carefully picked fabric. These fabrics are made with quality cotton that is soft and delicate.
- Embroidering using handmade techniques remains the most authentic art passed from generation to generation.
- Besides being a source of income, embroidering is used as a social interaction among women while showing their creativity.
- Embroidery was mainly made at home. It used to be just general housewife skills and for personal home use. Recently, Sewing machine embroidery has been taking over handmade techniques.
- It is a piece of art you will see when visiting local markets and small shops in Morocco. Thus, some Moroccan women became successful business owners doing Embroidery.
- Many successful fashion designers took Embroidery to the next level. Thus, some women integrated embroidery art into contemporary art and began to grow and expand it to introduce it to the world market.
It is highly decorative and used widely in Morocco as part of artistic expression. It is used to decorate a variety of items.
The embroidery artworks are being integrated into the following:
- Napkins, cushions, pillowcases, scarves
- Tablecloths, handkerchiefs, Djellaba valances
- Long dresses. shawls,
- chest covers, bed covers and many more
One of the most common uses of embroidery clothes is on the evening of her wedding. This is when the bride wears embroidered garments and clothing with unique designs. It is also used in baby showers when the baby receives a gifted. Those are delicately embroidered artifacts such as pillows, etc.
When making Embroidery, some women do not mark the cloth before stitching them. Also, the stitching process is a mix of cross-stitch and straight-stitch. This technique is so impressive and makes this artifact both stunning and unique. Thus, the Embroidery is a piece of art that presents a unique look wherever it is applied to.
Moroccan embroidering is well-known internationally. Thus, there is some pressure put on the products of this artifact. For this reason, Sewing Machine Embroidery is becoming more popular. Machines are used to increase the speed of production while reducing costs.
The Fez type of Embroidery is made so you cannot even tell which is the front or the back. This is because there are no knots hidden underneath the fabric. The most common patterns are Floral or geometric.
Some of the most common embroidery colours in Fez are:
- Blue, green ( most dominant)
- Red, Maroon (less prevalent)
- Multicolors ( common)
The Embroidery used in the capital city of Morocco, Rabat, is so special and unique. It is the type that is mainly made of white cotton. They use one kind of colour embroidered in floss silk thread. Floral and geometric patterns are commonly used in embroidering. The type of stitches used is the ones that are closer together. This produces a beautiful solid design.
Some of the most common colours are:
- Deep blue
- Old gold and red
Berbers are the originators of Embroidery. It originated from the art of tattooing that used to be dominant throughout the history of Morocco. Thus, Berber embroidering is the symbolic legacy of the first nation of Morocco. This type of Embroidery has existed for centuries. Some of the embroidery motifs resemble greenish-blue geometric designs. These are very common for being used to tattoo parts of their bodies when they reach puberty. These include the face, hands, and ankles. Thus, tattoos and some embroidery patterns look similar.
The most common use of embroidering is on:
- Headscarves, Flatweave
- Rugs, pouches
- Bags, clutches
Some Berber women wear embroidered clothing daily. Others wear them on special occasions such as wedding ceremonies.
Gold Thread Embroidery
This type of Embroidery is primarily made in the city of Fez. It is the most decorative and fancy Embroidery and is exclusively used for celebrations and significant events. These include weddings, festivals and other special occasions.
It is specially embroidered on many materials, such as:
- Velvet, Leather, Kaftans
- Silk clothing.Cushions,
- Slippers, Wall hangings
The technique that is followed and used in gold threading is couching. The most popular designs of gold thread embroidery are teardrops, floral patterns and circles.