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Glue plays a crucial role in traditional Moroccan joinery, an art that reflects Morocco’s rich history and culture. This article aims to explore the context and specific uses of glue in this craft. In this blog you’ll find a comprehensive guide to our adhesives for the woodworking industry in Morocco:

History and background

Moroccan joinery, influenced by diverse cultures such as Andalusian, Arabic and Amazigh, is known for its intricate designs and detailed woodwork. Craftsmen, known as “joiners”, use techniques handed down from generation to generation to create furniture, doors and other wooden objects.

The role of glue in Moroccan joinery

1. Parts assembly

Glue is essential for assembling the various pieces of wood. When creating complex patterns, such as moucharabiehs (wooden screens), the glue ensures a solid, durable joint between the pieces, without altering the aesthetics.

2. Restoration and Conservation

Antiques and historic buildings often require restoration work. Glue is used to consolidate damaged areas while preserving the original integrity of the works.

3. Finishing and Decoration

In furniture decoration, glue can be used to fix decorative elements such as mother-of-pearl or ivory inlays. It is chosen for its ability to hold these elements in place while remaining unobtrusive.

Types of glue used

Historically, natural glues, such as those based on casein (milk protein) or animal skin, were preferred. They offer strong adhesion while respecting traditional materials. Today, synthetic glues are also widely used for their strength and durability.

Moroccan joinery, with its rich cultural heritage, offers a variety of examples where the use of glue is paramount. Here are a few case studies and realizations that illustrate the importance of glue in this craft.

1. The Gates of the Medina of Fez

The medina of Fez, famous for its richly decorated wooden doors, is an excellent example of the use of glue in traditional joinery. These doors, often inlaid with geometric and floral motifs, are precisely assembled using natural glues. Glue plays an essential role in securing the different layers of wood and inlays, guaranteeing the durability and resistance of these works of art against harsh weather conditions.

2. Marrakech Marquetry Tables

In Marrakech, the manufacture of marquetry tables illustrates the use of glue to fix pieces of wood of different species and colors to create complex patterns. These tables, often decorated with motifs inspired by Islamic architecture, demonstrate the skill of craftsmen in using glue in such a way that the joints are virtually invisible, while ensuring a smooth, homogeneous surface.

3. Bahia Palace restoration

The Palais Bahia in Marrakech, with its chiselled wooden ceilings and ornate murals, is a case study in restoration. Joiners use special glues to restore and preserve the intricate details of woodwork without compromising the original aesthetic. Glue selection is crucial to ensure that repairs are both durable and respectful of traditional techniques.

4. Moucharabiehs of Rabat

Moucharabiehs, openwork wooden screens typical of Moroccan architecture, represent another remarkable use of glue. In the creation of these delicate structures, glue is used to assemble multiple small pieces of wood, forming detailed patterns while ensuring the solidity of the whole. Glue should be chosen for its strength and discretion, so as not to distract from the beauty of the design.

5. Inlaid wooden boxes and cases

Wooden boxes and cases, often sold in Moroccan souks, show how glue is used in smaller but equally detailed objects. These pieces are often inlaid with mother-of-pearl, bone or metal, and glue is precisely applied to hold these elements in place while preserving the object’s integrity and beauty.

Our adhesives for wood

The integration of modern glue products, such as those you offer, can provide craftsmen with more efficient and sustainable options while respecting traditional techniques. Let’s take a look at how our adhesives can be used in specific applications.

1. Urea formaldehyde-free polyvinyl acetate adhesive

This adhesive is ideal for applications requiring rapid setting, such as the assembly of doors in the medina of Fez. Formulated without urea formaldehyde, it respects the environment and the health of craftsmen. It would be perfect for fixing different layers of wood and inlays in doors, ensuring a solid bond without compromising aesthetics.

2. Polycoll: slow-drying wood glue

Polycoll is particularly well-suited to the manufacture of solid wood furniture and frames, as in the creation of Marrakech marquetry tables. Its slow drying allows craftsmen to precisely adjust the different pieces of wood, guaranteeing perfect assembly and a meticulous finish, essential in the intricate patterns of marquetry.

3. Polycolle C80: Fast-setting wood glue

For projects requiring rapid setting and strong adhesion, such as the assembly of Rabat’s moucharabiehs or the restoration of the Palais Bahia, Polycolle C80 is an excellent option. It is suitable for both solid and exotic woods, as well as for veneer and laminate on chipboard. Its versatility and fast take-up make it a wise choice for projects requiring both precision and efficiency.

Here are some tips on how to use each of these adhesives:

1. Urea formaldehyde-free polyvinyl acetate adhesive

  • Preparation: Make sure the surfaces to be bonded are clean, dry and free from dust or oil.
  • Application: Apply a thin layer of adhesive to one of the surfaces. If the parts are highly absorbent or porous, it may be necessary to apply adhesive to both surfaces.
  • Assembly: Join parts quickly, as this glue sets quickly. Clamp the parts firmly together for the recommended setting time.
  • Cleaning: Remove excess glue immediately with a damp cloth.
  • Drying: Leave the parts clamped until the glue is completely dry, which may take several hours.

2. Polycoll: slow-drying wood glue

  • Preparation: As with the first adhesive, make sure surfaces are clean and dry.
  • Application: Spread a uniform coat of Polycolle on the surfaces to be joined. The layer should not be too thick to avoid spillage.
  • Assembly: After application, you have more time to adjust the parts before the glue starts to dry. This is particularly useful for detailed work such as marquetry.
  • Clamping: Use clamps to hold parts together during drying, but be careful not to over-tighten.
  • Drying: Allow the glue to dry completely, usually overnight, before handling the object.

3. Polycolle C80: Fast-setting wood glue

  • Preparation and application: Follow the same preparation and application steps as for the first adhesive.
  • Fast handling: Be ready to assemble your parts immediately after application, as this adhesive sets quickly.
  • Pressure: Apply even pressure to ensure good adhesion. The use of clamps is recommended.
  • Cleaning: Clean off any excess glue immediately to prevent it hardening on the wood surface.
  • Drying: Although the parts set quickly, we recommend leaving them under pressure for at least an hour.

General Councils

  • Test first: If you’re a beginner, practice on pieces of scrap wood to familiarize yourself with the properties of each glue.
  • Safety: Work in a well-ventilated area and wear gloves to protect your skin.
  • Storage: Keep glues in a cool, dry place to preserve their properties.

Correct use of these adhesives will help you achieve professional, long-lasting woodworking results.

To solve all your technical adhesive problems, contact us at +212 5 22 59 20 90/91. You can also send an e-mail to or visit our production sites in Aïn Sebaâ and Bouskoura.

To access our complete catalog and other products, please click on thefollowing link.