Moroccan Embroidery

Cover of a DMC booklet on Moroccan embroidery, c. 1930's Cover of a DMC booklet on Moroccan embroidery, c. 1930's Courtesy Textile Research Centre (TRC), Leiden.

Morocco lies in the extreme northwest of the African continent. It has a coastline along the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea. The region that is now Morocco has been inhabited since ancient times, and over the centuries many different ethnic and cultural groups have settled in the area, the largest groups being the Arabs who occupied the urban centres, and the Berbers who live throughout the country.

In general, Moroccan embroidery can consequently be divided into two main types, namely, the urban embroidery from cities such as Azemmour, Chefchaouen, Essaouira, Fes, Meknes, Rabat, Salé and Tetouan, and the embroidery of the Berber population.

Many of the urban embroideries stopped being made in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Since then, one style of urban embroidery, namely that from Fes, can be found in most parts of the country. Some people (both inside and outside of the country) regard this style as typically ‘Moroccan’, while others see subtle variations in style of designs and colour combinations of Fes work as being characteristic for particular groups or regions.

See also the TRC Needles entries on Fes gold embroidery; Gnawa embroidery; hiti; Kiswa el-Kabira; Moroccan sampler; Moroccan leather embroidery


Last modified on Tuesday, 16 May 2017 19:23