The word "zellige" means "small polished stone". It is sometimes written as "zillij" or "zellij".
For the manufacturing of the zellige, first of all, the clay tiles are glazed with coloured glass in one of the two sides, then they are cut. This cutting is done in 3 steps:
- Draw the form (square, triangle, star..) above the enamelled side with a paintbrush.
- Cutting by hand the different shape tiles by using a sharp hammer ("menqach")
- Finally the beveling of the edges with a small hammer.
Due the artisanal handcrafted process of the zellige tiles, each tile is unique having its own nuances and finish. These zellige tiles come in a range of 28 different colours which vary slightly in tones.