Morocco - Natural Dye Workshop

by - Saturday, July 18, 2009

Before the Workshop
Day One
Day Two
Day Three
Day Four
Last Day

In 2007 the Maiwa Foundation conducted a five-day natural-dye workshop. The students learned how to wash fibers and apply appropriate mordants for wools. They then created a range of colours from indigo, cochineal, madder, henna, cutch, chamomile and a number of local dyeplants. Students learned about light and washfastness, about water conservation, and about the importance of basic dye proceedures and safe use of materials.

Morocco is very well positioned to capitalize on a natural dye revival. It has a flourishing carpet industry. And, even though moroccan carpets do not enjoy the prestige given to Persian or Turkish works they are still a viable item of trade supported by the rural infrastructure. Weaving skills persist and women can gain additional income without disrupting domestic life or entering a factory environment.

What have largely vanished are dyeing skills. The local markets are a source of much misinformation. The large tourist centers make fantastic claims of natural dye use that have no basis in any tradition. Tourists are frequently told that greens are obtained from mint leaves and reds from rose petals. With natural dye knowledge back in the hands of artisans they can once again make the weavings that distinguish the tribal cultures of Morocco.

Over the next number of posts, we will be showing some of the photos taken to document the workshop.


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  1. I would like to know if you plan any further natural dye workshops in Morocco ? I live in Morocco and would like to get involved.

  2. I am also very interested in a workshop in Morrocco and specifically in sourcing some madder roots there to buy in large quantity for an art project.any information welcome.
    my contact is

  3. Hello! Year 2013 and eager to know if you plan to keep any workshops this year? Will be very very grateful for a reply. Thanks in advance.


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