We followed our Guide through more twisty alleyways, through a few entrances, around another corner or six, and then all of a sudden, popped through a low archway and VOILA, there we were, in another beautifully renovated co-operative building... FULL of colour and cloth of all kinds.
Weavers are traditionally male, and use horizontal looms (as opposed to the vertical looms used by women who weave carpets). In this industry, women typically do the embroidering (somewhere private), while men make the lace, the fabric, and hand-stitch the cloth to make clothing (or in some places, have machinery for the sewing; more often than not, we saw men sewing by hand in their tiny shops along the souk's alleyways).
Thread shops along the way in the souk:
Another narrow alley that may lead to somewhere grand... or not...
...and here we are, another storage facility for colours of all kinds.
Men greeting us in the shop, and MEN AT WORK!
Of course the building itself was gorgeous-- sometimes it was hard to concentrate, the tiles and the hand-carved and painted ceilings were so intricately decorated that everything sort of ran into one another... could not choose a single thing, I wanted it all!
The cloth was generally a mixture of materials: silk (cactus silk), bamboo, cotton (sometiems blended, sometimes a piece was made of one material only), sheeps wool, camel wool, softest of cashmeres, pashminas... and the list goes on.
Of course the head scarf was important-- we were going to the desert after all!
The lower level was all about the fabric or the cloth-- from scarves, to table cloths, to bolts of fabric, purses, pillows, anything one could think of-- while upstairs was devoted to finished articles of clothing.
Hand- embroidered, beaded, beautified!
And of course I had to try a djhellapa..
...now I was fatima he said. I really did like this colour a lot, but the fabric was too soft (can you imagine?!) for me, I was worried that the beautiful cashmere would get dirty or rip very quickly during the rest of our trip, and because at home, I would use it for work more than anything else, and things get messy with the glass.
I wouldn't mind one for lounging around in now, though!