Posted on October 14 2021
Moroccan artisans are well known for their expertise in many crafts: carpets, caftans, leather slippers and lamps to name but a few.
However, on any trip around the souks, visitors (especially the ladies) soon begin to spot the tassels. Yes, for many, Morocco, and Marrakech in particular, is tassel heaven!
The tassels are generally made to embellish the hood of a lady's djellaba (which is the equivalent of a caftan overcoat). In Morocco, the tassels are called “swishas”, and they come in many forms and colours. They are traditionally commissioned by tailors to match the fabric of the djellaba, and are a feminine flourish which the ladies love: designed to "swish" as they walk.
Naturally enough, over time, their use has expanded and they are now also used to embellish ceramic dishes, jewellery, key rings, cushions and bags. They are sometimes even seen, in super-sized form, on the most amazing curtain tie backs!
The tassels, themselves, are largely made from what is locally called "sabra". This is often referred to as "cactus silk", but it is actually a man-made rayon. Do not be put off by this, as it is very reminiscent of silk (but perfect for vegans) and takes colour beautifully. In fact, the colours on offer are endless!
Less often seen - but also available - are tassels made of cotton, wool and leather.
At Atelier M, we are hooked on tassels too of course. We commission the best quality heavy weight two-ply sabra to make our own special tassels and accessories, which look and feel truly luxurious!