There are 14 Eco-zones spanning the entirety of Egypt, each a unique environment with its own traditions
The crafts that Markaz revives and develops from Nag3 Ghalalab in Western Aswan are both basket weaving and beading. The women make a wide range of traditional crafts including palm tree products, Nubian hats, bread baskets, and beaded products
The governorate of Qena is known for making crafts based on cotton and linen weaving. Specifically, the weavers in Nagada work on cotton and linen weaving to produce a number of products for Markaz which include shawls as well as cloth per meter used by Markaz for the production of its own products.
Akhmim, Sohag is known for its cotton and linen weaving since ancient times.
The Island of Shandaweel is famous for its festive coloful embroidery
Damietta is home to a very unique craft. The traditional craft that Markaz support in Damietta is that of Tatting. Tatting or “ooya” is a unique crafting technique which uses a series of knots and loops to produce a fine lace-like design used to embellish the edges of shawls and other cloth items.
The city is a source of yarn cones for most of Egypt’s small businesses. This industry continues to be a key source of income for all weaving sectors in Egypt as well as small businesses working with weaving by-products.
El Mahalla El Kobra provides almost all of the yarn that Markaz uses in its production cycle. Markaz secures its yarn through suppliers from El Mahalla El Kobra who coordinate between the factories in the city and the needs of the Cairo market. Markaz procures all of its cloth and thread from El Mahalla El Kobra, either through their market in Cairo or through local distributors. This thread is used specifically for weaving purposes.
Sinai is home to a large number of unique and distinct crafts. These include embroidery, tasseling, beading, and the use of floor looms for wool weaving. The craftspeople in the Sinai create a wide range of products including pillows, bedcovers, and embroidered and beaded cloth products.
The main craft that exists in Matrouh is wool weaving. As a result of the ample rain that Matrouh receives, it is home to rich and fertile farms and livestock such as sheep. The wool extracted from these sheep form the basis of the wool weaving industry in Matrouh. The kind of loom used by the local residents of Matrouh is the traditional floor loom from which a wide range of products such as carpets and textiles are produced.
The NGO that Markaz partners with in Fayoum not only provides Markaz with “makrameyya” products that are then sold to the general public, they also complement cloth products from other governorates through the “tanseel” skill possessed by the local women. For instance, a shawl produced in the Governorate of Qena will then be sent to Aboxa so that the local women can use the “tanseel” skill to embellish the shawl before it ends up in Markaz’s store front, a perfect example of the complementarity of local Egyptian crafts!
Eastern Desert & The Red Sea
The eco-zones of the Red Sea include the Mountains and Wadis of the Eastern Desert, the Red Sea Littoral Habitats, the Red Sea Islands, and the Red Sea Marine Habitats.
Shelateen is the center where Ababda & Bishareya. Markaz works with inhabitants of Wadi el Gemmal National park and Jibal Elba national park to include their traditional leather and basketry workmanship which are used in many Markaz Designs.
Cairo is the largest market for all raw materials that any artisan around egypt will ever need, Cairo is also the biggest consumer of crafts as well as containing the master technicians that are trained to finish and assemble the end products along with the tools required to produce them.
Markaz partners with selected NGOs and Women Communities to deliver more than 75% of Markaz branded products within the following areas: Imbaba, Mansheyet Nasser, Stabl Antar, Helwan & Tora