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Photographer's Note

‘Fes - Chouara Tanneries’

For many travelers a visit of the tanneries in Fes is one of the highlights of their trip. Without any doubt the tanneries are a very remarkable sight.

There are several locations in Fes el Bali where you can find them but the largest ones are the Chouara Tanneries.

Today the production of leather in Fes continues on the same way as it did a few centuries ago.
It’s a very hard job for the workers and certainly not a healthy work.

The skins of sheep, cow and camel are soaked in limestone vats of pigeon dung for a week. They get beaten by hands and feet to a pulp. The hair is scraped off. Then the skins are laid out on the flat roofs to dry in the sun.

Finally they are coloured with natural dyes in the dying vats. They use poppy flower for red, mint for green, turmeric for yellow, ... Leather dyed with saffron is considered very valuable and traditionally intended for making the popular babouches (slippers).

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Additional Photos by Paul VDV (PaulVDV) Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2170 W: 17 N: 4632] (20711)
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