Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Morocco - day one

On the first day we meet the students and give an overview of what we will be doing during the week. We are lucky to have the services of a skilled translator. The instructions are translated into Arabic and volunteers who work with more remote villages will translate the lessons again into the specific Berber dialects.





The group begins by separating the yarns into hanks. In this workshop we will focus on wool dyeing. The participants are interested in natural dyes for the Moroccan carpet industry.














In addition to the dyestuff we have brought from Canada, we have assembled local materials. If artisans can obtain local dye plants they are in a much better position than if the need to rely on imports. Here chopped madder root is used.









Here is dyebath is prepared from chamomile.








Pomegranate rinds are an excellent dye. When used in combination with other dyes they will increase the wash and lightfastness of the colour.





Henna is widely used throughout Morocco. It is one of the few natural dyes that is still used in a traditional way. The painted woolens of the Anti-Atlas Berbers often display talismanic figures on cream coloured wool.

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