Leather products are very typical for Morocco, in addition to accessories such as belts, bags, jackets, or perhaps the typical Moroccan babousche shoes, Morocco is especially famous for its traditional leather hand-sewn stools, which you can find in design catalogs all over the world.
The tanneries for the production and processing of leather are the main tourist attraction in the city of Fes, but I personally do not understand why. :-) I could certainly do without this aromatic visit to the workshops and I can bear it a lot, moreover, I grew up in a village, so killing machines and skinning are nothing unknown to me. But the stench...the terrible stench..When after climbing about 100 steps we went to the roof of the house, where there was a "beautiful view", I managed to look around, take one photo, which you can see in the header of the article, and I was already running back while Adil listened to an explanation of the production processes. I admire all the ladies in beautiful colorful dresses who go to this place to take the most liked photos in all of Morocco, even the vats where the skin is dyed are not really as colorful as photoshop can make them out to be. :-) In general, I was not enthusiastic about the city of Fes, and this excursion (and couscous with meat of unknown origin :)) confirmed to me that I have no need to return there. But that is my subjective opinion, many people and guides around Morocco do not allow Fes. But now back to the craft..
Leather production has a long tradition in Morocco, and the production process has practically not changed since the Middle Ages. Washed and dried several times, the leather is dyed naturally with the help of plants and minerals, and 4 types of leather are used here - goat, camel, sheep or beef. The best are goat and camel (we only offer products made from goat skin - if you don't believe, come to our showroom and smell it.)
The skin must first get rid of excess fat and flesh, then they are washed in tubs, dried, honestly, to get rid of the smell. Then they put them in vats with the given natural color for a few days. And for shine, they rub them with olive oil - which you can also do with your leather product at home, only after some time it loses its shine and sparkle - but in this case, you need to count on the fact that the color will be a little darker than it was before oiling.
The great advantage of Moroccan leather products is quality and affordability. We always try to choose individual pieces in the price/quality ratio - so we definitely don't buy the cheapest pieces, but also the most expensive premium quality ones (which we are happy to have made on request).
Finally, briefly to the city of Fes, it is one of the four royal cities of Morocco. Medina - the old part of the city is on the Unesco list. In 859 , al-Karaouine University was founded here, which is considered to be the oldest university in the world. Fes is famous for its narrow endless streets, in which you can easily get lost, so I was lost and so was the street dog that looked for me (and since a month before our trip Adila was bitten by a street dog in Morocco and then had to deal with vaccination against rabies for a long time, so I panicked all the more). In the end, I managed to draw attention to myself by desperately running and calling "jesus mary", which was very appropriate in a traditional city a moment before prayer :) So Adil pretended not to know me for a while and then they started with other passers-by and with everything that was at hand to chase the dog away from me, everything went well, my ass was not bitten (the dog, not Adil and certainly this dog returned to our plate in that couscous.. I know, it's inappropriate, but it's the Moroccan reality that I want to introduce you to and not with what you read in bedekr.
Avoid wannabe guides who stop you on the street and try to take you somewhere. Despite the fact that Fes is a tourist city, I recommend extra caution and consideration for the local culture here.
When you wander the streets of the souk (market), turn on Bou Inania Madrasa on your navigation (you won't discover the entrance by accident). Madrasa means school in Arabic and it is a former school that is no longer in use today. You enter through the door to a beautiful courtyard decorated with perfect mosaics, you can also look up to the floor where the former rooms for students are. The area also includes a mosque with a minaret. You can get there for an entrance fee of about 50 CZK.
Also worth mentioning is the famous Moroccan "golden door", the entrance gate to the Royal Palace, known locally as Fes Palais Royal Dar El Makhzen. Behind this door is one of the official residences of the King of Morocco. It is surrounded by high walls and is closely guarded by soldiers at every turn. Inside you would find a mosque, accommodation for members of the king's bodyguards, a library and the royal family also has its own university located here as well. You won't be able to look inside, so you can only stop briefly to look at this famous door, but it's still worth seeing in person, because the door is beautiful in the photo, perfect in person.
If you go to Fez with the intention of shopping, believe me, I left empty-handed, you will only find very old-school pieces here, uninteresting, traditional, outdated... For more designer pieces, we'll go to Marrakech, which we'll talk about next time...:-)