The Moroccan typical shoes: babouches slippers

For centuries, the babouches have been adored by the orientals. They are traditional shoes that they wear at home as well as in great ceremonies. They exist in different colors and in various forms. Also, their manufacture follows a very particular process. Discover in this article all there is to know about the moroccan babouches or typical moroccan slippers.

Moroccan Babouches Slippers
Moroccan babouches slippers

The moroccan babouches: style and typology

In Morocco the woman’s babouche is called Charbil and the man’s babouche is called Belgha

1. Pointed slippers, traditional slippers, royal slippers

The most traditional babouche, the pointed babouche is made of leather or Sabra (vegetable silk).

Originally worn by the Arabs, the pointed slippers are now a “must have” everywhere on the planet to be elegant and feel good in your shoes!

Men leather babouches
Men leather babouches

2. Berber slippers

Who has never heard of the strength and comfort of this incredible babouche.

The Berber people designed this round, hand-sewn model and added a rubber sole for use in all circumstances.

Strong of their experiences and often subjected to strong heat, the Berbers use in their traditional round babouche in interior lining a crust of leather, because indeed the crust of leather is the best anti perspirant which is.

This model is very robust and can be worn both inside and outside as a slipper. The Berber babouche is therefore ideal for our homes.

3.berber mules and slippers with laces – quality label

To offer a wider range, more comfortable and more aesthetic, babouches-france has developed its own models of handmade shoes.

For these top-of-the-range slippers, we take care to offer you an even more noble leather.

The crust is replaced by a smooth and soft leather + a soft pad under the arch of the foot bringing an incomparable comfort.

4. round and soft slippers

Made of 100% leather, our soft slippers are known for their great comfort and their very low price!

Soft and light slippers, hand-stitched, with smooth, soft and quilted leather interior, our first price slippers are distinguished by the quality of their interior comfort and the resistance of our crust leather sole.

This model of slipper is ideal to wear in apartment or to take with you in the luggage during your displacements and travels.

What is the history of the babouche?

The babouches are shoes anchored in the Arab-Muslim tradition. The very etymology of the word is of Persian origin. It means “Papusch”, with the “Pa” meaning “Foot” and the “Pusch” meaning “To carry or cover”. Clearly, to wear babouches is to cover one’s feet. In the Arabic language, men’s slippers are called “Balga” while those of women are nicknamed “Charbil”. There are of course babouches for children. See here to learn more about the history of the babouche.

In fact, it is the Bedouins who revealed this shoe to the world since the 3rd century. Originally, it was made of leather with a thin sole. It had no heel and could be attached with the toes. Today, there are several categories of babouches as before mentioned.

Still today Morocco and its many craftsmen babouchiers and leatherworkers are masters in the matter. Actually the term Maroquinerie is a term derived from the word Maroquin which refers to leather and in particular goat skins tanned with Sumac. This method of tanning was invented in Morocco.

What are the stages of manufacture of the moroccan babouches?

In a rather general way, the manufacture of the babouches is done in four stages.

The cutting of the soles

Here, the professionals of the manufacture cut the leather soles. On the piece of goat or calf leather, they delimit the contours of the soles following the defined point. Finally, they use a large chisel to cut them out.

The preparation of the upper part of the babouche

After lining the leather, they cut the two upper parts of the babouche. This exercise is repeated depending on the number of babouches to be made.

The decoration and the trimming of the babouches

Following the cutting operations, the upper part of the babouche will be entrusted to the embroiderers for the different trimmings or embroideries.

The assembly of the babouches

It consists in assembling all the cut and worked parts of the babouche. The craftsmen associate the sole, the embroidered sides of the leather, the upper part.

Why wear babouches ?

Babouches are very comfortable shoes. Generally, they are worn very easily. They are very solid, comfortable and do not wear out quickly. Indeed, you can wear them for all circumstances. At home, as well as in big events, they can follow you everywhere. Moreover, the slippers are made nowadays with anti perspirant leathers to prevent odors. They go very well on the traditional costumes of the Arab-Muslim world. However, they can be worn on modern outfits such as jeans and shorts. They have the advantage of being light, flexible and allow you to feel good.

The history of slippers goes back quite far. These traditional shoes occupy a place of choice in the clothing style of the Orientals. They are light and can be worn everywhere. Do not hesitate to use them.

Moroccan slippers: Popular stories

Stories of Babouches

These stories and poems are contributions from people who want to bring their support to our modest site. We thank them very much. Do not hesitate to propose your articles… Contact us on:

1- Story of two babouches

They were two little babouches, babouches for two pretty little feet….
Babouches, but babouches from Tafraoute, the capital of babouches.
Tafraoute, city of the south Morocco, in the mountain, in the middle of the rocks all pink in the sunset.
Tafraoute, in the middle of the almond trees…
There, Ahmed lived…
Ahmed has always lived in Tafraoute, his father too, his grandfather already, and maybe even his great-grandfather, and his great-great-grandfather too….
His father made babouches, his grandfather made babouches, his great-grandfather made babouches and even his great-great-grandfather …..
On that his son Mohamed, will also make babouches, the most beautiful babouches of Morocco….
Thanks to the sale of the babouches, the most beautiful babouches of Morocco, their stomach will never be “Tafraoute”, which means, they will never be hungry…
Ahmed had made two beautiful babouches, black babouches with golden braids!
He had worked, worked, Mohamed his son had come to help him. He had placed the golden braids that decorate the two small shoes…
Now he was going to put them on the shelf next to the other slippers ….
What he did not know, Ahmed, is that these two were not ordinary slippers! First of all, they spoke! yes, yes, they spoke! There was right babouche and left babouche…look, said right babouche: I lean towards you!
-look, said left babouche I also lean towards you!
-Promise me, said babouche right, never to leave me.
-How can I leave you? Have you ever seen anyone buy a single babouche?
-Of course, but promise to always follow me!
-Always follow you? I can’t! One time you’ll be in front, the other time not, you’ll be behind!
-I would have liked, me, to be always in front !
-Bof! behind, in front, what does it matter! says left babouche.
-Let’s try! do you want? in front, you follow, in front, you follow!
-Not very practical to walk on the stony paths!
-I won’t go on the paths! the stones would hurt my soles! we would have holes because of the sharp rocks!
-Ah! well, said left babouche who was always in agreement! and, what are we going to do?
Little babouche began to dream….
I would like, I would like…to put on dancer’s feet, agile feet, which would dance, would turn, in a garden full of flowers!
-Smell! I can already smell the orange blossoms, the hibiscus, it is fresh under the leaves! Above us, the stars, the beautiful starry sky of the desert!
-Of the desert, says left babouche, but it will be hot, the sand will penetrate everywhere!
-Think a little, says right babouche, we are in the desert, in an oasis, it is the festival, hold a wedding! We are the babouches of the bride, see how beautiful she is!
Ah! the beautiful life of babouche!
-Wake up, says left babouche, here is the world, let us listen!
-I would like some babouches, for the wedding of my daughter, says a gentleman.
-Move over, babouches, these customers are for us!
We saw the slippers twisting, moving forward, turning to be admired, so much so that we saw only them!
-These ones, please!
Ahmed took the slippers, wrapped them in a pretty paper, made a beautiful package and gave it to the girl.
She thanked him with a beautiful smile and hugged them to her heart.
The little slippers heard knock-knock and already in the box, a step to the right, a step to the left …. They began to dance !
How beautiful she was Naïma ! never, never bride was more beautiful !
As soon as she put on her slippers, she felt light, light, like a bird ! She started to dance, to fly, to turn !
They were not ordinary babouches ! They were babouches from Tafraoute the capital of babouches !
When the party was over, Naïma, put away the babouches, but when it takes him a little bit of blues, when the rocks of Tafraoute become all pink, the evening…
Naïma puts on her babouches, she starts to dance, to turn, to fly…
Because they are not ordinary babouches, they are babouches from Tafraoute… The capital of babouches !!!

2- The Moroccan babouche

Moroccan babouches, shoes of the tradition and still today of the days of festivals, are, for the men, made in plain colors. The most common are bright yellow, the most sought after are the white babouches. However, to meet the need for modernization, new colors (red, brown or pearl gray) have appeared while keeping the babouche’s artisanal character. The bad tongues claim that the inhabitants of Fez have for custom to buy always the size below their real size so that they walk on their own heel, having only a part of the foot engaged in the shoe. This anecdote underlines the fact that in this imperial city, the shoe is made for adornment more than for comfort. For women, in particular, the shoe is a real ornament. The multicolored female slippers are always more elaborate, not to say more elegant, than the male slippers. They have a thinner sole than the men’s and are sewn with shiny silk threads, often gold or silver. The leather is sometimes mixed with velvet, in the brightest colors: blue, green, garnet… and they are frequently matched with long caftans that reach the ankles.
The Moroccan babouche is called “Balgha” for men and “Charbil” for women. Like the pouf, it differs from one region to another by its texture, its shape and the materials used; thus the babouches of the city dwellers have a pointed end while those of the peasants have rather a round or square end. Light and practical, it remains the shoe most worn indoors as a slipper.

3- Poetry of the moroccan slippers

There was a little Blackfoot,
Who lived in a babouche
Both were a pleasure to see
Walking from morning to night
The babouche around the Blackfoot
And the Blackfoot in the babouche.
The babouche one day said “Why
To drag this Blackfoot with me?
To walk together what an ordeal!”
He is heavy… I am light
If he wanted to release the places
Alone I would walk better.
From then on the slipper works
To wound the Foot, it grips it,
compresses it, makes so much effort
That the Black Foot having a horn
And suddenly taking the fly
Withdraws from the babouche.
The Black Foot, him folded up
Of course in his little shoes
But he continued on his way
And the most astonished without doubt
Was the babouche who did not understand, but saw
That without Blackfoot, it does not walk anymore.

4- Babouches of Abu Kassem: A tale of the Thousand and One Nights told by Nora Aceval

There was in the East a merchant famous for his avarice: Abu Kassem. Although he was very rich, he wore the same slippers since his feet had finished growing. Stinking and patched on all sides, they were filthy.
One day, Abu Kassem went to the hammam. He left his slippers at the entrance, but when the Sultan came in, the hammam guard preferred to hide the filthy slippers.

On his way out, Abou Kassem finds some beautiful babouches. Thinking that a good genius has passed by, he puts them on and leaves. For everyone, the case is clear: the miser has stolen from the Sultan. Abu Kassem is thrown into prison. He is forced to pay a lot of money to get out. Furious with his slippers, he throws them into the river. When a fisherman found them, he complained to the Sultan because the slippers had torn his net.

Abou Kassem, once again in prison, had to pay to get out. When he tries to bury them, he is suspected of having found a treasure, and the Sultan summons him once again… Curse? Bad luck? Or just the price of greed? It’s up to everyone to interpret this facetious little tale.


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