Leather goods or leather work, a crafts for everyday life
Sometimes we buy handicraft pieces as mere decorative elements, pieces that by their beauty becomes works of art whose only use in contemplation. However there is a craft that in many cases is part of our daily lives and sometimes goes unnoticed, we talk about leather goods.
Moroccan artisans have raised embossed leather work to reach levels of excellence that are hardly surpassed. As shown we have the fact that leather work is known as leather goods whose etymological root leads us directly to Morocco.
The origin of leather crafts
If we investigate to the bottom of the matter. Leather crafts go back to prehistory when the first men find the raw material in the skins of animals to make rough clothes that protect them from the cold. This is proof of the existence of dresses, bags and leather sandals some with more than 8000 years old.
At first the skins with hair were used but later the primitive craftsmen discovered that if this one was eliminated they obtained a more versatile product. Between 3000 and 5000 BC, the work of tanning and manufacturing of leather goods took place. By the year 1000 of ours, the fashion of the skins had been imposed throughout the Christian West including, to the Iberian Peninsula, as well as in the Arab world of the Middle East, North Africa and Muslim Spain.
Leather crafts in Morocco have a name, Fez
The city of Fez offers us a wide range of experiences but without a doubt one of the important and impressive is the visit to its Medina and more specifically to the Suq of the tanners. Heirs of a rich and enough tradition, the tanning craftsmen of Fez continue to make pieces of leather crafts as their ancestors did. Through a set of artisan techniques they manage to convert pieces of animal skin into soft leather with which to make pieces such as belts, wallets, bags ...
Until the medina of Fez comes the raw skin. Depending on what is going to be its use, the skin of an animal or another is used, although the most common are the skins of lamb, goat, cow and dromedary. Then the skin is treated with quicklime and pigeon droppings to remove any rest. If you read correctly, pigeon droppings, which are partly responsible for the softness of the leather. It is subsequently air dried while it continues to be worked by the expert hands of Moroccan artisans. In fact, if you are fortunate enough to visit the medina of Fez you can see how the roofs of leather in the roofs of all the houses so that the wind does its job.
But without a doubt, what makes leather crafts from Morocco unique is the use of natural dyes. Despite the continuous progress and the growing existence of artificial products, Moroccan artisans still use natural dyes to color their pieces. This process is carried out in stone vats that have become a first-class tourist attraction. In them natural dyes to obtain a wide range of tones: Mint for green. Red poppy. Saffron for yellow.
The leather is introduced into these pools for several days according to the intensity of the dye and other parameters that the tanning masters know perfectly. Meanwhile, artisans work hard in these large stone vats, review the process, tamp, rub an arduous task that is done in full sun and with a mixture of "aromas" difficult to describe.
Once this process is finished, we obtain sheets of excellent Moroccan leather ready to be used in the elaboration of the most varied crafts. Pieces that of course can be found on our website with the guarantee of being able to enjoy a unique piece.
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