The Mystery of the Hanging thread

Marrakech souks

Although Marrakech is often known as ‘The Red City’ thanks to the pisé-cement ramparts that surround the old town, once you enter the Medina it becomes clear that Marrakech actually holds a multitude of bright and vibrant colours. We noticed at this point in the ‘Needle and Thread’ Medina walk, as you turn south towards the Jemaa el-Fna Square, there are rows of brightly coloured thread hanging down from the rafters of the Souks, casting beautiful abstract shadows on the Souks’ floor.

We were intrigued by the mystery of the hanging thread and asked a local stall-holder, an elderly man selling similarly colourful pashminas, what it was there for. He was unsure and gestured for us to follow him over to a small table where two of his friends were playing cards and drinking café au lait. The first man suggested that the colourful thread was hung here to dry from the nearby ‘teinturerie’ (dying house). The second man, however, disagreed. He claimed that he had never seen wet wool being hung up and that the thread was spare wool used as a form of shade to keep the area as cool as possible. Our conversation continued for a few minutes and the three local Marrakchis carried on debating after we said our goodbyes.

Alas, the mystery of the colourful hanging thread was not solved and we are still unsure what to make of the rainbow of dangling thread. But this uncertainty only adds to the mysterious magic of Marrakech; perhaps you can solve this mystery yourself whilst on our ‘Needle and Thread’ walk by downloading our free Hip Marrakech app?

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