Artisan sourcing

We would like to share a successful collaboration project between a Dutch designer and a weaving cooperative in Morocco. A special project resulting in a distinctive and innovative tapestry, a beautiful piece of craftsmanship.

“Fair Fabrics knows how to find a network of reliable professionals who can meet the need. We have access to products and producers from all over the world on behalf of and together with designers, brands and retailers. ”

The product development that has been completed can be divided into a number of phases. Think of an exploration phase of the material, a sketch phase, the introduction and design phase with the weaving professionals, and then the realization into a first sample.

Designing a new product on the spot is the most exciting but also the most fun! For the tapestry we (Fair Fabrics and the Dutch designer Willemiek van Kuijlenborg) traveled to one of our partner weaving cooperatives in the middle of the Atlas mountains of Morocco.

Design process

Together we discuss with the weavers what the wishes are and the (im) possibilities. We compare our ideas and continue sketching together. There is room to react to the collected images of the designer; what does this evoke, for example, among Moroccan weavers? They can sketch and draw over it and Willemiek can respond to that. This way you get close to a new plan step by step where all insights come together nicely.

Fatima – photo credits Jenae Somedays for TBE

The designer and the weaver go together behind the weaving frame, how can the first idea be technically implemented? That is a process that is sometimes gone through with hands and feet, because many weavers only speak the Berber language.

“You can also communicate through the loom and laugh together without having a common language.”

Willemiek behind the loom – photo credits TBE

After a number of small experiments, the artisan weaver can make a first sample. After that, there is room to polish a bit more here and there, but there were also unexpected surprises that were given a greater role in the final tapestry.

The result of connecting designer and maker is a completely handmade and unique tapestry in which the traditional values ​​of the local weavers are clearly respected, and also mix with contemporary insights from a Dutch designer.

Artisan weavers Fatima & Khadija

Tapestry data

Size: 180 high x 120 wide (excluding warp threads)
Material: Wool and cotton
Weight: 6.5 kg
Designers: Willemiek van Kuijlenborg, Fatima Falfouli, Khadija El Hakkaoui & Karin Kandt
Weavers: Fatima Falfouli & Khadija El Hakkaoui
Country: Morocco
Price on request:

Photo credits Geert van Hertum

The tapestry during OBJECT/ART Rotterdam 2020