Moroccan handicrafts: a real identity marker

Moroccan crafts: a true symbol of national identity

Moroccan handicrafts: a true hallmark of identity... for the enjoyment of tourists

Moroccan handicrafts are a true marker of culture

Moroccan workmanship is one of the nation’s defining characteristics and a major draw for visitors. Or maybe we should say “Moroccan handicrafts,” as local artisans are skilled in a wide range of disciplines and work with a variety of materials. You may read more about these disciplines on this website, along with information on where their products are sold and where you can find authentic handicrafts.

Geographical and distributional dichotomies

The good news for tourists is that Moroccan handicrafts can be found all around the country. You may obtain high-quality goods anywhere you go because almost all areas and cities have specialized in different fields. Additionally, you can learn about the variations between other places by making a circuit through them.

The difference between Moroccan handicrafts produced in urban centers and those produced in rural areas can be broadly categorized.

What handicrafts are available in Morocco

Moroccan handicrafts are highly diverse, as we already stated. Since these things are the trousseau and kitchenware in the homes of the nation, they generally have their roots in daily life. Therefore, watching their products is an indirect approach to learning about their traditions and practices, from etiquette and food to home décor and men’s and women’s clothing in daily life.

Additionally, some of these crafts were produced with the highest social status in mind, leading to the emergence of a luxury industry where the level of technical proficiency and the sophistication of the raw materials employed were both unexpectedly high.

The following is an overview of the main handicrafts of Morocco.

General ceramics and pottery

Pottery is the craft of working with baked clay, typically on a potter’s wheel, and it is considered art in Morocco, even if these things are commonplace among the local populace. On the other hand, ceramic production includes other methods in addition to the pottery wheel, and the degree of quality attained is just as high.

While some items, like tiles to decorate walls or put on furniture, have only cosmetic purposes, other items, like plates, pitchers, and bowls, provide functional purposes such as preserving or transporting food.

Since it is one of the most popular handicrafts in the nation, you may discover intriguing examples almost anywhere. However, there are a few cities that, in this regard, stand out particularly:

Large-format textile items like carpets, rugs, tapestries, etc.

As their vendors are frequently trying to persuade visitors to visit their stores, it is a handcraft that is very simple for any traveler to find in the souks of the towns. By the way, this tactic should be avoided gently if there isn’t really any interest in purchasing a piece of clothing because feigning interest could annoy the seller.

In any case, a considerable part of the popularity of Moroccan handicrafts can be attributed to carpets, rugs, tapestries, blankets, and similar products. They can be constructed of a wide range of materials, some as unusual as goat or camel hair, but those made of Merino sheep’s wool, a key component of Moroccan livestock that was ultimately brought to the Iberian Peninsula, are more prevalent. Its purpose is to beautify or condition-specific parts of the house, like the flooring, walls, or furniture.

The places where this handicraft is most present are usually mountainous regions and villages, both in the Rif (Chaouen) and in the Middle Altas and High Atlas (Marmucha, Zaïane, Chichaouna, Beni Ouarain).

Another exquisite example of Moroccan artistry is embroidery.

This is the other important area of textile production in Morocco, and it is focused on producing tiny accessories and clothes for both men and women. In certain situations, they are everyday clothes since Moroccan traditional clothing is still widely worn despite the advent of Western fashion. Moroccan traditional clothing is frequently connected to Islam, such as the time of prayer or accessories for women, such as the headscarf. In other instances, these are unique outfits for unique occasions, like weddings or other festivals.

The latter situations are where extremely high levels of refinement are attained, and very luxurious materials are chosen. Here is a list of some outstanding locales and methods:

Handcrafting baskets

This is one of Morocco’s most simple forms of handicraft. Less intriguing, though, is not for that reason. Various plants, including the dwarf palm, reed, and rush, are used as raw materials. The necessities for arrangement and decorating in less affluent households have been satisfactorily addressed by the resulting objects in an affordable manner. For instance, products like lamps, shopping baskets, and garden furniture are made. Furthermore typical are big straw hats. Salé, the regions of Marrakech and Fes, or the towns in the Rif Mountains are a few of the most notable basket-producing locales.

Handcrafted leather goods

There is a reason why high-quality leather products are referred to as “leather goods.” One of Morocco’s most famous and prominent crafts is animal skin work. Morocco has long-standing ties with several nations, including Spain and France, and these nations have imported Moroccan methods and know-how to create high-end leather goods.

These organic animal skins, which are often made of goat and ram, are used in Morocco to make a variety of goods, including poufs, women’s bags, men’s backpacks, foot slippers, pillows, wallets and purses, and belts. Additionally, they are utilized in gala accessories like horse saddles. The variety of products made from leather has greatly increased in recent years, including covers for furniture, shelves, and tables as well as book covers.

Marrakech, Tetouan, and Rabat are three of the most renowned places for this craft, but it is also strongly advised to explore it in Fes because the area of tanners and dyers is still conserved and the skins are being handled and coloured outside as in the past.

Gold, silver, and precious stone jewelry

Silver is the primary component of this handcraft in Morocco, while gold and precious stones are sometimes occasionally used, especially in the cities. Again, it is easy to see a distinction between urban sophistication and rural simplicity since in some Berber tribes of the desert, goods are sold by weight regardless of the item’s quality or degree of difficulty in creation.

Traditionally, Jewish goldsmiths who were skilled in a wide range of methods performed this work. Due to the tiny number of remaining Hebrew people in the nation, it has also been done by local goldsmiths for some time. They live in the same areas that still exist today in some cities, like Essaouira, Fes, Meknes, Marrakech, Tangier, Salé, and Rabat, and their guilds are among the oldest.

These local goldsmiths continue to be inspired by antiquated methods, sometimes extremely innovative ones. They are listed below:

When it comes to elaborate jewelry, we can think of anklets, which are a very common accessory among Berber women, as well as bracelets, necklaces, earrings, brooches, rings, and belt buckles. Although tourists like to wear them at all times, Moroccan weddings are the perfect occasion to display these and other pieces of jewelry. The grips and holsters of bladed weapons frequently incorporate exceedingly intricate embellishments.

Commonplace metal things

Metalworking is utilized not only to create jewelry but also to create common household items. Metals like steel, iron, copper, or zinc in their brass alloy are employed as a base since they lack the prestige required for jewelry. The subsequent decorative work, though, gives it a much richer character. Techniques like chiseling or even damascene, in which gold or silver threads are inlaid on a metal basis, are employed in these circumstances.

Utensils for preparing and serving tea, as well as decorative pieces for the home like candlesticks, plates, or copper lanterns, are some of the most impressive things in this craft field. The two principal locations for the manufacture of these items are Fes and Marrakech.


Although the products of cabinetmaking are impossible to fly home with, it is nonetheless important to understand the significance of this Moroccan art form because it achieves unmatched levels of excellence. The artisans in this field typically create chests and furniture of all sizes, sometimes with polychrome finishes and leather or metal trim. Lattices and doors, as well as columns and beams in larger palaces, are other structural and ornamental components that are found in almost every home.

For little things, acacia, walnut, and lemon tree are the most frequently utilized woods. In the Rif and the Atlas, where this tree protects significant natural areas, cedar is the predominate wood type, although thuja is extensively used in the Essaouira region.

Where to find and purchase Moroccan handicrafts

On your vacation, you’ll discover that Morocco boasts a plethora of international retailers, including those selling the same brands of clothing, accessories, gadgets, and other goods as those found in other cities across the world. The traditional manufacture of regional goods has, however, been able to survive because of the originality and high quality of Moroccan handicrafts, which tourism also contributes to preserving. Listed below are some locations where you can look for items of this nature.

The medieval medinas' souks

Souks, derived from the Arabic word souk, are marketplaces created by the progression of shops in a medina’s streets. These traditional commercial spaces have a very unique atmosphere created by the narrow and almost labyrinthine layout of the medinas, which is heightened by the colorful goods on display, the aromas of fresh food, and the bustle of the people who are part of this spectacle, especially the vendors who demand the attention of customers.

In the larger medinas, it is common to find souks specializing in one of the crafts listed on this page, thus creating neighborhoods with a very distinct character, since often the artisans not only sell their goods there, but also have their workshops and homes. Some of the most famous and unique craft districts in Morocco are:

Moroccan handicrafts In Marrakech

Fes-based Moroccan handicrafts

Antique or specialty shops in big cities

The most important of these stores are the ones that sell antiques, especially for travelers who only stop in cities and wish to look for a higher quality in their purchases. Some of them are antique shops, since the pieces for sale are not only handcrafted but also historical, as they were made decades or even centuries ago. On other occasions, they are specialized stores that sell items from new artisans, fusing techniques and designs of yesterday and today.

Weekly street markets in the villages

Flea markets, which take place once or twice a week, are not fixed like souks; rather, their stalls are set up and taken down as needed. They are widespread in smaller towns and provide a wide range of goods. Especially fresh produce and kitchenware, making them perfect for purchasing, say, spices. However, there can also be stands offering locally produced goods made in Morocco.

Due to the fact that they are rural markets, the items for sale are typically of a poorer caliber than those offered in city shops. However, they are more likely to be authentic, created by regional artisans or even by the vendors themselves, which is something that is not always easy to guarantee in urban stores.

Some of those that come to mind are the one in the arid town of Rissani and the bustling markets held in the High Atlas settlements like Asni.

Rural areas' modest shops for Moroccan handicrafts

These shops provide as permanent locations for the sale of Moroccan handicrafts. They are widespread in picturesque towns that draw tourists from abroad, and they are typically found in the medinas, albeit in a more dispersed distribution without forming souks. Examples are Erfoud in the extreme south and Chaouen or Chefchaouen in the north. These modest tents may occasionally be found in ksars or old defended settlements, such Ait Beh Haddou.


These are groups of craftsmen or producers of various traditional goods (food, cosmetics, etc.) who perform activities and demonstrations for tourists from other countries and then sell their wares to them in addition to creating goods for local consumption. They typically carry out this work in their own workshops, but they can also arrange for the marketing of their goods to be carried out by neighborhood shops.

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