Did you know that the headquarters of the United Nations in New York houses one of the largest collections of Moroccan rugs in the world ? This collection was offered to the UN by King Mohammed VI in 2011 to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Morocco's membership in the United Nations. This is proof that Moroccan craftsmanship has won the hearts of Americans thanks to its unique designs. But how did this craftsmanship achieve such renown in the United States ? Let's explore together the history and culture of Moroccan craftsmanship in the United States.
I. Moroccan craftsmanship in the land of excess, its arrival and history?
Moroccan craftsmanship in the United States has a long history and a rich tradition. For centuries, Moroccan handicrafts have been exported worldwide. In the United States, their popularity grew in the 1960s due to the influence of American artists and designers
The history of Moroccan craftsmanship in the United States dates back several decades. As early as the 1960s, American hippies, in their exploration of the world, discovered the cultural riches of Morocco. American artists and designers also began to take an interest in Moroccan handicrafts. From their designs to their uses, everything was analyzed to understand but also export these rare quality products.
One of the first to discover Moroccan craftsmanship was the famous fashion designer Yves Saint Laurent, who began collecting Moroccan rugs in the 1960s. This passion inspired him to create a fashion collection titled "The Tapestries of Marrakech", which became a huge success in 1965.
Today, Moroccan craftsmanship is becoming increasingly popular in the United States, and this success can be explained by the high-quality products that we will present in the following section.
II. The flagship products of this craftsmanship.
As we have seen, Moroccan craftsmanship is very diverse, but some of them are particularly popular in the United States. Here is an introduction to the 3 most popular products.
A. Berber Carpets
Made from sheep's wool, which is dyed with natural colors such as saffron, indigo, and henna. The rugs are woven with symbolic messages that have a special meaning for the Berber women who make them.
Considered a work of art, the Berber rug is adorned with geometric patterns and vibrant, contrasting colors. Its success is due to its ability to add a touch of style and comfort to any room. In addition to being used as a floor rug, Berber rugs are often hung on walls as a decorative piece.
Berber rugs arrived in the United States in the 1960s and immediately gained great popularity among interior designers and decor enthusiasts.
B. Embroidered Fabrics
Moroccan embroidery, known as "Tarz," is an ancient art in Morocco that has been passed down from generation to generation for several centuries. Moroccan embroidered fabrics are known for their unique patterns and vibrant colors.
These fabrics are handmade by skilled artisans who use traditional embroidery techniques and are adorned with floral motifs. Additionally, there are several embroidery techniques in Morocco that differ depending on the city and the material used.
These products were introduced to the United States in the 1990s and quickly gained popularity among fashion designers and interior decorators. They are typically used to make clothing, handbags, cushions, and curtains.
C. Moroccan and Berber pottery
This ancestral art has been rooted for centuries, it was the Moors who installed the first kilns in Fez, Meknes, Safi, and Marrakech more than 1000 years ago. Moroccan potters use ancestral techniques to create unique and beautiful pieces, it is more than a tradition, it is a real way of life. Moroccan pottery is often decorated with complex patterns and vibrant colors.
Moroccan pottery is handmade from clay. Once the pottery is shaped, it is air-dried and then fired in a traditional high-temperature kiln. After firing, the pottery is often decorated with traditional patterns or bright colors. Additionally, these patterns can vary depending on the city.
Moroccan pottery was introduced to the United States in the 1920s and since then, it has become an important element of interior decoration.
III. Where is Moroccan handicraft represented ?
Moroccan handicraft is widely represented in the United States, thanks to its growing popularity. Major cities such as New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, and Miami have entire neighborhoods dedicated to the sale of Moroccan handicrafts. Tourists and locals can find shops selling Berber rugs, metal lanterns, embroidered cushions, babouches, and many other Moroccan handicraft products.
In addition, there are many trade shows that provide excellent opportunities for Moroccan artisans to showcase their work and interact with American buyers. One of the most important trade shows is the ICFF in New York.
MY MOROCCAN RUG at ICFF :
We are pleased to announce our presence at the ICFF, which will be held in New York from May 21st to 23rd, 2023. We would be very happy to present our works of art to you during this fair, do not hesitate to come and see us at the ICFF fair.
This trade show brings together international specialists in interior decoration and furniture. Its objective is twofold :
- To allow designers and artisans to meet the New York clientele
- To discuss with other professionals in the industry.
By emphasizing exploration and innovation, the ICFF trade show allows Moroccan craftsmanship to prove itself as a leader in interior decoration.