Chechia Making Documentary
Our exploration begins with the skilled women of Benzert, particularly in Zouaouine, who play an integral role in the initial stage by knitting the "kabbouss" with exceptional precision, using five needles simultaneously. This laborious yet intricate process not only highlights their craftsmanship but also underscores the imperative need to pass down these unique skills to future generations, ensuring the continuity of this treasured tradition.
Our journey then takes a turn to Battan, where the kabbus undergo a transformative felting stage, though, unfortunately, this step could not be captured on film. Moving forward to El-Aliya, skilled artisans meticulously hand-comb and card wool fibers, employing traditional tools to prepare them for shaping. Thistle thorns, chosen based on the wool's characteristics, play a vital role in achieving a smooth surface, adding to the uniqueness of each chechia.
Transitioning to Tunis, the chechias arrive for the dyeing process, providing a glimpse into the craftsmanship involved in infusing vibrant colors into these headwear pieces. A special highlight in our documentary is the detailed showcase of the traditional chechia plant-dyeing process in Remada, where years of dedicated craftsmanship and experimentation with plant dyes have resulted in a fully sustainable and ethical supply chain.
In the final leg of the chechia-making process, the artisan known as "qoulabji" meticulously molds and prepares the dyed chechias, ensuring they conform to specific sizes for the subsequent ironing and final touches. Each stage in this remarkable journey not only showcases the dedication, skill, and artistry of Tunisian artisans but also emphasizes the preservation of this cultural legacy. Stay tuned for the concluding part of our documentary series, providing an in-depth look at the final touches that bring these traditional pieces to life.