Marrakech

Marrakech Tanneries

Marrakech Tanneries

One of the traditional crafts of Marrakech is leatherwork. Stone pools with natural dyes are located in the eastern part of Medina, near the Bab Debbagh gates.

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Overview of Marrakech Tanneries

Paint Pools at Marrakech Tannery

Dubbing and painting workshops, operating since the 11th century, consist of a series of large stone pools filled with various natural dyes and pigments.

Walking around the Old Medina, locals often say 'Tannery', inviting people to visit one of the leather factories. They may not ask for money for the tour, but afterwards they will lead you to the shop and pressure you to buy their merchandise out of gratitude for their work and tour. Be careful as the products offered may be several times more expensive than those in nearby stores. In other cases, they may demand money at the end of the tour. Be sure to discuss everything in advance and demand proof that it is free. – Gidza

Entry into one of Marrakech’s tanneries

Cow, sheep, and goat skins are tanned with a strongly-scented mixture of bird and animal dung, then painted with saffron, pomegranate, paprika, mint, indigo, henna or cedar wood to get varied colors and textures. Products then dried and cut.

Leather dubbing workshop

Many people can find the smell of leather overwhelming. In such cases, we recommend taking a mint leaf (ask at any cafe) and inhale it periodically. If you are sensitive to both the smell and the process, we recommend abstaining from visiting leather factories - Gidza.

Leather tanners are an exciting sight, with bright dyes contrasting with white stone pools. The smell of the tanning process is quite strong and distinctive.

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May 22, 2023

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