Souvenirs of Morocco: The Ultimate Guide for Your Purchases
What would a trip to Morocco be without buying lots of souvenirs and gifts for you and your loved ones? It's a country that has so much to offer when it comes to buying local items! But not just any items, this guide has been designed to help you buy souvenirs from Morocco in an informed way.
Traveling in Morocco can be so much fun because there is so much to see and live! One of the coolest things to do in this part of the world is shopping, but many travelers like you usually wonder if the quality of the items they consider are worth it.
As everywhere, it is not guaranteed that everything that sells in Morocco will be quality, however, we can show you how to do it, to find the best memories of Morocco and allow you to spoil your loved ones.
What to bring back in Souvenirs of Morocco? What to buy as a gift in Morocco?
Morocco is rich in manufacturing techniques and most of them are rooted in the tradition and history of the Kingdom.
This guide lists for you the most known and widespread manufacturing techniques in Morocco and will explain how to choose the articles from these different techniques.
Handmade Wicker Baskets and other wicker accessories
In Morocco, wicker baskets are made according to the long tradition of braiding. Although there are many different types of materials used for braiding, the inhabitants of Morocco prefer to use the leaves of small palm trees. Called Mediterranean dwarf palms, they are usually located in the southern part of the High Atlas Mountains.
The leaves are cut into strips and then wet before being woven. These strips are then braided as is or tinted if necessary. Although there are now synthetic dyes, those that remain consistent with their culture and traditions use natural sources such as vegetables and minerals to get the colors they want.
How to choose your wicker basket?
Wicker baskets are very practical because they are versatile. When observing wicker parts in Morocco, pay attention to the quality of braiding and especially check if the wicker is tightly woven and without gaps. Items should also be quite rigid, but not too much, so as not to break with time. You must also make sure that the dye does not rub off on your hands and that if seams have been used, they are evenly spaced.
Boucharouette: traditional upcycling
Boucharouette, also known as "boucharouite", and a technique often used to create beautiful colored carpets. While in other parts of the world, many carpets are made from a specific material, those who use the scum are using scraps of materials to create their masterpieces. Thousands of pieces of different salvaged materials, including wool, cotton and nylon, are all woven together to create a decorative rug that instantly becomes a work of art.
In recent years, the technique of Boucharouette is also used to create many types of objects such as bags. This means that you do not need to buy a huge rug when you are in Morocco to have a piece of this fantastic job at home. Instead, you can opt for something smaller and that will be just as fabulous.
How to choose his articles made from Boucharouette?
When you examine the bouchaouette items, you will want to make sure that the materials that were used are well woven together. Items that have spaces between materials will quickly disintegrate and be of no use to you.
The leather of Morocco: the babouche top ranges and other items from tanneries
Leather is one of the most popular items in Morocco, which is not surprising since there are many leather tanneries. Fez is the best place to see how leather is processed, but you will find quality leather products almost everywhere. The tanneries of Fez work since the XNIXXème century, they are thus know rather well on the production of leather of quality. Once the leather has been manufactured, it is transformed into bags, belts, boots, hats, jackets, and more.
Of course, you will want to make sure you have quality parts in front of you. For example, Morocco's babouches are very popular all over the world, but not all are worth
How to choose your leather goods?
When looking at leather products, look for those with a slight leathery smell. The color should not fade on your fingers when you touch them. The seams must be regular and the leather must be flexible, the flexibility varies for each type of article. This means that the leather should be softer for the bags than for the belts or boots.
Moroccan pottery: ceramic, tadelakt and more
Moroccan pottery is an art worthy to be admired, watched. You are sure to find a treasure .. Fez, Safi, and Meknes are the main pottery destinations in the country, but you can find spectacular pieces in virtually every city in Morocco.
Each vase, pot, and tajine is created from wet clay on a "potter's wheel" before engraving patterns. The pieces of pottery are then air dried before being baked.
How to choose his pieces of Moroccan pottery?
If you intend to use the pieces of pottery you buy for food, we advise you to opt for a ceramic finish rather than Tadelakt which is not at all suitable for eating and will not support a wash with water.
The ceramic has a shiny appearance while the Tadelakt has a matte finish. The tadelakt is suitable for decoration pieces but can not be used for food use. If you want to cook your dishes in a tajine, opt for an unpainted tagine because the paint may not be able to stand the heat.
The way of dressing in Morocco has changed slightly over the years, but there are still items that are considered Moroccan sewing. The caftan has been the garment of choice for decades, and many designers are trying to make it evolve by making it more modern, without removing the garment that makes this garment full of history.
If you wear clothes from Moroccan fashion, you are sure to feel fantastic. But make sure it's a quality piece you take home! Indeed it happens that certain parts did not have the care that they deserved during their manufacture and thus risks to deteriorate very quickly. We recommend that you check the seams, try if you can, and pay attention to the finishes.
Morocco has a lot of natural resources, but none of them are as amazing as argan oil. This oil is found in nuts that grow on argan trees in semi-desert regions of the country. Once the oil extracted from the nut, it is mainly used in natural beauty products for the skin hair because it has many cleansing properties.
Your hair and skin will be almost instantly more beautiful thanks to the large amount of antioxidants, vitamin E and fatty acids found in argan oil. Imagine using a natural product that will revitalize your skin, bring shine and volume to your hair, and act at the same time as a protector against ultraviolet rays.
When planning to buy natural products in Morocco, you should pay close attention to the list of ingredients and the smell. Argan oil does not smell, so if you are looking for a natural product that has a distinct smell, you may want to reconsider your purchase. Argan oil should also be mentioned as one of the first ingredients, so you know that the product you are interested in contains a lot of it.
The art of carpeting
The carpets you find in the vendors' stalls are true works of art and they are carefully crafted using the traditional weaving techniques that the locals have been using for generations.
You will find two different types of carpets during your shopping adventures. One of them is the real traditional rug, while the other, more in a Berber style, looks more like a very heavy blanket. These should cost you less than a "real" Moroccan carpet.
The best rugs in Morocco are those that are carefully woven by hand. They do not disintegrate, unlike those that are machine-woven. It is recommended to ask for the density of the knot, the dye used and the type of fiber used when making a carpet, because the answers will help you to know if it is worth buying. Indeed, a high quality carpet will have a larger number of knots per square meter, and every carpet you plan to buy should be made of 100% wool or 100% nylon because these are the best materials.
It is advisable to avoid carpets made of olefin, as they are very flammable, can become greyish with time and accumulate a lot of dirt. Chemical dyes should also be avoided, as colors may fade quickly. The colors of the natural dyes may not be so bright, but at least the colors will not fade so easily and your carpet will keep its colors for many years.
As mentioned above, some parts of Morocco are better known for some products than others. This does not preclude finding them in other regions but it is recommended to buy them where they are made.
Marrakesh is the only region that sells a bit of everything, so there you'll find pottery, culinary delights, traditional ingredients, aromatic spices, carpets, leather goods, and more. Carpet stores are everywhere across the country, but some of the best places to buy are Fez, Rabat, Chefchaouen, Tinerhir, Rissani, and Tetouan.