LEATHER

The process of curing, dyeing, and drying animal skins has followed the same traditional method in Fes for almost a thousand years. The hides begin their journey in a solution of cow urine, pigeon dung, quicklime, water, and salt — a caustic but completely natural mixture that removes hair and softens the surface without the use of synthetic chemicals. After a brief respite to dry, the skins then plunge into vibrantly-hued wells of vegetable dye. Red originates from the poppy flower, blue from indigo, orange from henna, brown from cedar wood, green from mint, and yellow from saffron. The Chouara tannery, as well as two other smaller tanneries in the old medina, provide leather directly to artisans living within its walls.
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