Women’s Embroidery Project

The project was inspired by circle dance teacher Laura Shannon (who has researched traditional embroidery symbols for many  years) during her first visit to us in 2014.

Who does it benefit?


Our Women’s Embroidery Project produces beautiful items made by hand using traditional skills and natural materials. The Moroccan women are keeping alive and reviving traditional skills and tradition in the face of “competition” from cheap machine made items.

embroidery emailFair Trade and Fair Prices

We supply these items direct from the women, who receive 100% of the sale price.  Additional benefits include: the positive aspects of the living wage, fair trade, female company and solidarity, giving women an independent income,increasing the women’s self-esteem and status in the family and the community, offering the younger generations a chance to learn traditional craftwork and consequently to appreciate the value of their culture more.  The younger women are being taught in Riad, a village where all the potters are men; hence it gives women an opportunity to be more self sufficient.

embr square held by orange treeWhat are the Symbols?

The patterns contain symbols which date back nearly 10,000 years; these are symbols of female deities which are designed to protect and to encourage fertility of their crops, livestock and families. They are found throughout the European, Asian and North African world; they may also be found on pottery, carpets, leather and henna tattoos. Tree of Life or Mountain Goddess (lkabab) pattern is a common embroidery motif. In Morocco it is said to bring health, wealth, fertility, prosperity and all good things. Lbrouj is similar motif but smaller.
Thank you very very much. They are lovely – such beautiful handiwork. I am really pleased with them. I may be in touch to order another in a few weeks. Thank you again. Cathy Blythe

How might the cloths be used?

They may be framed to hang on a wall, used as decoration of a table or an altar, held by the leader of a dance or used as a centre piece in dance.

 To learn more about the origins of the project, read Magazine Article about our Embroidery Project

New Embroidery Products – Autumn 2016

embroidered-handbagTraditional Embroidered Bags produced by Bouchra, wife of our driver Rachid

These items are currently on offer but please ask for the size or colour or design that you prefer.

Handbag: zipped top with flap to conceal zip, zipped inner pocket and adjustable shoulder strap. Dimensions: 21.5 cms wide x 23 cms high. Price: 230 MAD

Small bag with strap and zipped closure: ideal to carry a passport and/or money and bank cards or a small camera or a mobile phone. The design is the “Tree of Life”.
Dimensions: 11.5 x 17 cms. Price : 90 MAD

Small carrying case: with popper closure suitable for a mobile phone or spectacles.
Dimensions:  9.5 x 16 cms. Price: 70 MAD

How to order

Colourful silk threads
Colourful silk threads

Products are made to order in the colour or design of your choice. They include squares (several designs including the blue one illustrated above, and more on the order form below); greetings cards; hand bags; mobile phone cases; cushion covers; bed sets and anything else that you request.  Please follow this link to the order form, which gives details of colours and designs.

They are delightful and I feel very privileged to have them. Please thank the women for doing them for me. Very best wishes, Christine Elliot