Medina - Tannery

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Many vats with dyes
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Men jump in to mix hides and dye
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Close-up of the vats
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Hides drying on top of building
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More drying
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Even more hides drying
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Water-wheel at bottom of photo
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Wool taken off hides
|  Fès
The tannery is a huge complex with 50 or 60 stone vats like a giant paint box.  The vats are filled with pools of richly colored liquid ranging from snow white through grey, milky brown and pale pinks to garnet red, metallic blue and saffron yellow.  It is complete and immaculately preserved mediaeval tannery.

Water, heaved up from the Fès River by a massive wheel, is distributed amongst the vats, in which the tanners mix the heavy combination of water, hides and dye using only their feet and the pressure of the muscles in their legs.

A sharp acidic stench rises from the kaleidoscope of colors below, a combination of the sheep's urine and pigeon dung used in the dyeing process.  The tanners have had to get used to the smell, the tourists are offered sprigs of mint as nosegays - which really helped.  Hides are dried by hoisting them by hand to the top of surrounding buildings to use all available sun.