1. A shepherd tends a flock of sheep in the Atlas Mountains. In the summer, the flock is sheared of its winter wool. It can take 50-100 coats to make a standard sized rug.
2. The wool is bundled and carried to the Oum Er-Rbia River, where it is rinsed and beat against the rocks to cleanse it of a year’s worth of wear.
The wool dries in
the summer sun.
3. The women spin the wool into long strings of yarn using just their hands, shins, and wooden dowels.
4. Now, the yarn is either left as natural, or dyed using natural pigments and then returned to the studio.
The new yarn is strung onto looms.
5. The women begin the long process of weaving a design. Each woman (sometimes working with a partner) works on a rug from start to finish. This can take well over a month of tying knots.
6.The finished rugs are then doused with water, scrubbed clean, and draped over wooden racks where they’ll dry in the mountain air.