The embroideries of Morocco

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Used as a way for women to provide for their families, embroidery has kept Moroccan tradition alive while also benefiting the country economically. Moroccan embroidery favors abstract or geometric shapes, with a history said to have come from Henna tattoo designs, and is now categorized into four main types of embroidery

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Rabat

This type comes from the capital city and is mostly created with white cotton.It tends to focus on one color which is embroidered in a silk floss. In some cases, brighter colors are used but stitched closer together which makes a solid pattern.

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Gold Thread

This type is also common in Fes and is usually created for special occasions and celebrations like weddings. Created on heavier cloth, most of the time, such as leather, velvet or silk, male artisans are called to assist given the amount of effort involved in stitching such a garment. The couching technique is used in this type of embroidery holding the gold threads into their positions.

Fes (Terz Fesi)


Named for the city of Fes which is known as the spiritual capital of Morocco, this embroidery type is incredibly unique in that the back pattern is the same as the front without knots hidden beneath the cloth. To incorporate this technique, the stitches used are both a cross and straight stitch. The most common colors used are green and blue with maroon or red mixed in.

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Berber

The berber style is the modernization of the henna tattoo where women decorate their headscarves in the different henna patterns one would traditionally see. This is because tattooing is no longer as customary. Bright colors are embroidered onto darker bases which adds intricate and beautiful designs onto their everyday wear.

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Each style preserves Moroccan culture in a unique way while also providing employment opportunities for women and ultimately contributing to the Moroccan economy.

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