Archive for morocco work economy fes string textiles

Spinning thread, on different levels

Posted in Work with tags , on March 31, 2008 by Sarah Kate Kramer

40 percent of Morocco’s export comes from textile makers, and the industry operates across a huge spectrum of production levels, from needle and thread to modern factories and technology. Walking through the alleys of Fes you often see boys or men with hand-held motors spinning individual spools of thread that are attached at one end to an ancient wall:


Here is the sound of the motor spinning, with the bonus of a conversation with the spooler, explaining the purpose of his work (the thread gets sewn into caftans, jelabas…) and then the common Moroccan experience of having our dialogue interrupted by a third party, who feels the need to translate, and we talk about the spooler’s uncle who lives in America, and we end with the third party beginning to talk about his personal business, selling carpets.

The next level up is a shoelace and belt making factory located behind a nondescript door in the medina, where two rooms have been crammed with German machines furiously and loudly sewing. It’s a family owned and run business.