The Women’s Embroidery Project was inspired by our circle dance leader Laura Shannon (who has researched traditional embroidery symbols for many years) during her first visit to us in 2014.
What are the Benefits of the Women’s Embroidery Project?
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 imported machine-made items.
Fair 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 Women’s embroidery craftwork and consequently to appreciate the value of their culture more. The younger women are being taught in a village where all the potters are men; hence it gives women an opportunity to be more self-sufficient.
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.
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.
Want to Learn More?
We have a traditional basket full of books and other interesting items to explore. Jane, our founder, writes “There are strong threads running through the fabric of my connection with Moroccan embroidery.”
NEW EMBROIDERY PRODUCTS
Traditional Embroidered Bags produced mainly by the talented Bouchra, wife of our driver Rachid.
HOW TO ORDER
Products are made to order in the colour or design of your choice. They include squares (several designs including the the one illustrated, and more on the order form below); greetings cards; handbags; mobile phone cases; cushion covers; bed sets and anything else that you request. Please follow this link to the order instructions, which gives details of colours and designs.