THE SAFI CRAFTS STORY
Ghor el Safi women association
Ghor El Safi Women’s Association for Social Development: Established in 1996, the association was founded with the aim of supporting the local community, particularly the women. Since its inception, the association has undertaken activities in various fields to support the local community, including vocational programs for women, basic education for youth, as well as both material and financial aid for families in need.
History of Safi crafts
The Safi Crafts brand was created in 1999, when a group of 14 women from the village began an embroidery and soil-dyeing project under the guidance of the Canadian/American artist Jean Bradbury. Since the beginning, we have based our creations on locally available materials and taken inspiration from local heritage and everyday life, creating beautiful designs, colored with natural dyes.
The early years of our inception saw us producing our unique textiles under challenging circumstances, often times gathering in a team member’s kitchen, and later in the new association building. Despite initial difficulties in marketing our products, we continued to meet and create because we loved our work, and thanks to the support we received from local partners.
In 2013, thanks to the support of UNESCO, Drosos Foundation and their partners, we began farming indigo. The project also included surveying the country, and specifically the local area, for natural dye plants to help produce the full colour palette we use today. The project also offered our team training in essential skills, including accounting, marketing, English language, sewing, and surface design.
Using native plants to generate the dyes straight from earth, Safi Crafts produces unique contemporary designs. Each piece tells its own story, reflected by the personal hardships and ambitions of each of the women of Ghor El Safi.