Lalla, 41 years old, is a Moroccan loomer of berber carpets. She makes traditional carpets in her workshop based in Assouel in Marrakech, using her wood loom.
A woman with passion
Lalla is a proud Berber. She lives with her family in the ancient Medina of Marrakech. She is from a small village of the Moroccan Atlas, near Armed, a small village in the region of Imlil. Coming from a modest family, Lalla did not have an easy life but her strength of character allowed to do something that she is proud of, and help her provide and support her family.
She learned looming with her mother, who taught her in the respect of traditions and ancient techniques, all the while being aware of the environment and respecting the Berber tribal values. She then improved her techniques by attending a formation center for the Marrakech craft where she got her success certificate as a Moroccan woman specialized in Berber carpets looming.
Which techniques do you use?
It is important to acknowledge the fact in order to make Berber carpets, the raw materials need to be worked very carefully: sheep wool transformed into thread, which is then naturally dyed and decorated.
Mastering the weaving and sewing techniques is needed, as well as the natural dying and double knot.
What are your favorite materials?
The raw material of a Berber carpet is natural sheep wool, which has been cleaned and worked by hand. For the dying part, Lalla uses vegetal dye extracts without any chemicals.
Where do you find your inspiration?
I find your inspiration in the ancient Moroccan legends, as well as in the traditional culture of Berber carpets made in pure wool. Each carpet has its own story, represented by a pattern, that simple eyes cannot read or understand. In our culture, each carpet tells a story or an event and passes an emotion thanks to an artistic unique language where wool and fabrics, bright colours and natural dyes, drawings and (random or chosen) pattern mix.