With the start of summer comes the need for the perfect beach bag! To add some Fair Trade Flair to your wardrobe, check out our newly added Moroccan Market Baskets. Also known as Tigmi Bags, these handy baskets come from the tiny, southern village of Tigmijjou, Morocco. For centuries, the primary source of income for the 250 men and women of the community were hand-woven mats, used to provide layers of comfort on dirt floors. However, the invention of cheap plastic mats effectively wiped out the market for water reed mats, leaving the community struggling to find an alternate source of income. This lead to the creation of the Tigmi Bag, which allowed artisans of Tigmijjou to continue using their traditional water reed weaving customs while creating a fashionable product and a new source of revenue.
How it’s made:
The baskets are woven across horizontal looms that are anchored to the ground. Pieces of water reed, collected from the local riverbank and nearby farms, and hand-braided palm leaf rope are strung and pressed together to form a panel long enough to create the sides of a basket.
This process is repeated to form the bottom of the basket.
After the panels are formed the excess reed is cut off, and the remaining mats are bent into shape and sewn using cotton thread purchased from local markets.
When these pieces are finished, handles that have been sewn on the workshop’s industrial grade sewing machine are attached. All the detailing is made from sheep and goat hides collected from local butchers. Recently, the artisans of Tigmijjou hired an expert leather-worker from Marrakesh to teach them how to manufacture professional-grade accessories.
The artisans of Tigmijjou are now some of the foremost producers of reed baskets in Morocco and their continued collaborative effort serves as a primary source of income for the community.
The purchase of one of our Moroccan Market Baskets directly influences the well-being of Tigmijjou, and is the perfect bag for a summer picnic or day trip! Be sure to order yours today!