Moroccan Leather Embroidery

Moroccan embroidered leather bag, Fez, early 20th century. Moroccan embroidered leather bag, Fez, early 20th century. Courtesy Textile Research Centre, Leiden, acc. no. TRC 2000.0005.

For centuries, Morocco has been known for the production of leather goods, which were sometimes embroidered in various techniques. The range of embroidered leather objects includes animal trappings (such as saddles), bags and satchels, belts, pillows, poufs, purses and wallets, stools, sword and dagger sheaths, as well as a range of slippers (babuch) for men, women and children.

Traditionally, it were men who carried out the embroidery on leather, but since the end of the twentieth century more and more women’s groups in Morocco started to produce this form of work. In 2013, for example, there was the Tifaouine Ameln Argan Oil and Leather Embroidery Group (based in Tifaouine Ameln near Agadir in southern Morocco). This is a cooperative run by a group of women and girls who make argan oil and a range of products, including embroidered belts, pillows, purses and shoes, all in leather.

Another women’s group in Tifaouine Ameln producing leather embroidery is the Association Tifaouine Ameln Broderie en Cuir, who decorate leather items with, among others, Berber motifs.

Source: VOGELSANG-EASTWOOD, Gillian and Caroline STONE (2016). 'Embroidery from Morocco,' in: Gillian Vogelsang-Eastwood (ed.), Encyclopedia of Embroidery from the Arab World, Bloomsbury Academic, pp. 188-209, esp. p. 190.

TRC online catalogue (retrieved 17 April 2017).


Last modified on Monday, 17 April 2017 18:01