Moroccan textile from Sumano Savoir-Faire – Dior Cruise 2020 collection

Moroccan textile from Sumano Savoir-Faire – Dior Cruise 2020 collection

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We did a collaboration
with this big association called Sumano that supports women in Morocco
for this part of the show. We would like to make with them also
another iconic piece from the history of Dior;
the opera coat. Since this is the very first collaboration
for Sumano and for these women, it is important to understand
and recognize that they have never worked
for anyone ever before. They made their bridal veils
for wedding ceremonies, but there has never been
any external interest from anyone outside. So it’s a first
for everyone involved. Here they are going to use
a method called ‘reserve dyeing’. The fabric panels which are quite large,
are dyed in a color gradient. They typically use colors like brown,
raspberry red and orange. These hues are derived from plants
with staining properties which all grow locally
in the immediate environment. Depending on the season
they gather madder roots, walnut bark, pomegranates husks and leaves
from the pistacia lentiscus tree. After the plants have been dried and ground
the weavers prepare the fabric, tying it up according the form
they want the dyes to follow. Then they mix the plant
which gives the chosen color with water in a large cooking pot and dip the tied fabric into the mixture
so that it soaks up the dye. When the fabric has completely absorbed
the dye it is removed, rinsed and hung out to dry
on clothes lines at one of the homes until it is ready to be dyed
the next color. The house of Dior asked us
to work on an opera coat, so we called on the weavers to assist us
with our second collaboration. By car they live
5 hours from Agadir. It’s an enclave
situated in the Lesser Atlas mountain range and until the early 2000s it was only accessible
by foot or by donkey. At the start of the day we meet
to chat about our day to day problems. Here there’s not much else to do
apart working with wool. Our lives revolve entirely
around the production of wool. Gathering wool.
Washing wool. Weaving wool. First you have to wash the wool thoroughly,
then sort it and spin it. I am in the middle of weaving
an Adrar shawl. Wool thread that is too fine
is called IDE and the others are called ADJRAD. We make patterns with cotton. My name is Rabia
and I am president of the cooperative, Here we work only with wool because there is no agriculture
in this village. Even the children
want to work with the wool, because here, if there were no wool,
there would be no work. Now there are more ways
to improve the cooperative. There you go! Particular to this village is the henna method
by which they dye the fabric. The henna
comes from a henna paste which is in part a blend
of spring water and lemon (juice). The more layers added
the darker the color. For the opera coat
designed by Maria Grazia they used exactly this method
by applying it to large panels of wool. At Sumano we hope that this exposure
brings attention and recognition to our craftsmanship
because for the moment there is no recognition
on a national or international scale. The idea is that there should be continued
production for these women and a continued source of revenue
to support them and their families. They’re saying that, before, wool wasn’t something
they necessarily considered. Now wool is amazing!
They respect it.

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