Textile Society of America


Date of this Version



From Textiles in Daily Life: Proceedings of the Third Biennial Symposium of the Textile Society of America, September 24–26, 1992 (Earleville, MD: Textile Society of America, Inc., 1993).


Copyright © 1992 by the author(s).


Decorative finishes are an integral part of textiles in many traditional cultures, both past and present. Unfortunately they have often escaped the attention of textile scholars. Published material on detailed observation in the field is often lacking. However, research into trimmings can give valuable information on technological, social and economical aspects of a culture. The city of Fez is an excellent place to study the production and function of trimmings in an urban setting with a wide variety of crafts1.

Types of trim made in Fez

Research into trimmings in Fez started with detailed field observation of a variety of techniques such as tablet weaving, finger-loop braiding, button making, fringe knotting and trim made and/or applied by tailors. Female and male artisans participate in the manufacture of trim. The trimmings consist of fringes, cords, braids and woven borders applied to many items of traditional costume, both male and female, to furnishings and to many items used in ceremonies like weddings and circumcisions.

The production and distribution of trimmings involves a complicated network of dealers, intermediaries, producers and consumers. Fez caters for different markets. The most fashionable products are destined to a wealthy urban clientele, both in Fez and in other major Moroccan cities. Often commissions are made to order. A lower grade of more or less mass produced items is destined to less wealthy clients both in the cities and in the villages influenced by urban trends. A small number of distinct items, like head decorations and belts is made for use in Berber costume in several rural areas of Morocco.