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The History of Moroccan Pouffes: From Tradition to Modernity

The History of Moroccan Pouffes: From Tradition to Modernity

Moroccan pouffes have a rich history that dates back centuries. Pouffes, also known as ottomans or footstools, were first introduced to Morocco during the Ottoman Empire, which had a significant influence on Moroccan culture and design. However, Moroccan pouffes have evolved over time to become a unique and distinct element of Moroccan design that blends traditional and modern styles. In this blog post, we will explore the history of Moroccan pouffes, from their origins to their modern-day popularity.

Origins of Moroccan Pouffes

The Ottoman Empire introduced pouffes to Morocco in the 16th century, and they quickly became popular among Moroccan households. Pouffes were typically made from leather, which was abundant in Morocco due to the country's large sheep and goat population. The leather was often dyed using natural plant-based dyes, such as henna and saffron, to give the pouffes vibrant colors and intricate patterns.

Traditional Moroccan Pouffes

In traditional Moroccan design, pouffes were used as low seating arrangements, either on their own or in combination with floor cushions. They were often placed in communal living spaces, such as the salon or the living room, where they provided additional seating and a comfortable place to relax. Moroccan pouffes were also used as footstools, particularly in traditional Moroccan homes that featured low seating arrangements.

The traditional design of Moroccan pouffes featured intricate patterns and designs, often created using a technique called hand-stitching, which involved sewing leather pieces together. The designs on the pouffes were often symbolic and represented Moroccan cultural and religious values. For example, some pouffes featured the hamsa hand symbol, which is believed to provide protection against the evil eye.

Modern Moroccan Pouffes

In recent years, Moroccan pouffes have experienced a resurgence in popularity, particularly in Western countries. Pouffes are now available in a range of colors, patterns, and sizes, and are often used as accent pieces in modern homes. While traditional Moroccan pouffes were typically round or square in shape, modern designs may feature more unusual shapes and textures, such as pouffes with tassels or pom-poms.

Modern Moroccan pouffes often incorporate other materials besides leather, such as wool or cotton, and may be filled with synthetic materials rather than natural materials like wool or straw. However, the use of sustainable materials and natural dyes is still important to many modern Moroccan pouffe designers and manufacturers.


Moroccan pouffes have a long and fascinating history that reflects the country's cultural and design heritage. From their origins in the Ottoman Empire to their modern-day popularity in Western homes, pouffes have evolved to become a versatile and beloved element of Moroccan design. Whether you prefer traditional or modern styles, there is a Moroccan pouffe out there that will add comfort, style, and cultural richness to your home.

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