Since Moroccan tiles, Moorish tiles, and Spanish tiles originated from the same source, authentic Moroccan tiles, Moorish tiles, Spanish tiles are still made the same way our ancestors created. We added a few innovations in the design process and the assembly methods to ensure ease of color and design selection and installation for western customers while preserving authenticity.
Below are the steps that we still follow to make our Moroccan tiles, Moorish tiles, and Spanish tiles.
Once the mosaic design and colors are chosen by customers, the raw materials are produced by us "the potter", or "Fkhar," who handles the hand mixing of the clay, the sun drying, the color mixing of the glazes, and the baking of the raw materials in a traditional "beehive" style kiln. The tile pieces are typically 5"x 5" square tiles that are rough around the edges, called "lajoura," before they are hand chiseled.
Cutting of the basic ceramic tile into small intricate mosaic pieces
After the ceramic tile is kiln baked and sorted out, the raw materials are given to our production team which includes the design team and our master cutter, "Maalam Nakach," who creates the prototype of the each mosaic pieces based on the scale chosen. He hand chisels the desired pattern by cutting small geometric pieces called "ferma" from the 5"x 5" ceramic tiles. This step is very important since it is crucial that the "ferma" line up perfectly with each other in order to create top quality mosaic patterns. Once the master sample is made, "Maalam Nakach" distributes the "ferma" to be cut among the cutting team which is made up of ten to fifteen cutters or more depending on the quantities ordered. The cutters then use hand chisels to cut thousands of small geometric pieces that make up the mosaic design. The prototype created by "Maalam Nakach" and the design team is as important to mosaic work as architectural drawings are to construction.
Assembly of the Moroccan tiles, Moorish tiles, and Spanish tiles and mosaics
After the chiseled Moroccan mosaic pieces have been given to the master tile artisan, the "Maalam Ferach" and his team start assembling the tile by laying the small geometric mosaic pieces face down to ensure an even surface on the face of the mosaic. This is very laborious work since "Maalam Ferach" has to grind a majority of the pieces, "ferma," into predetermined sizes based on the repetition of the mosaic pattern, "tarbiaa," to produce perfect geometric harmony of the desired pattern. This process is called "slaka." "Maalam Ferach" then disperses cement and lime powder on the back side of the mosaic and sprinkles a small amount of water on top to hold the "ferma" in place. This assembly process makes the mosaic ready for the final assembly stage which involves covering the back of the mosaics with a secret family mixture.
Cleaning and quality control of our Moroccan tiles, Moorish tiles, and Spanish tiles and mosaics
Cleaning is the last step of the mosaic tile making process. After letting the assembled mosaics dry for 24 hours, the mosaic panels are carefully lifted and cleaned before packing. This is the stage where quality control is done and not one piece of tile leaves our factory unless it meets our standards of quality.
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