Tadelakt and traditional lime stucco

Marrakech Tadelakt

Tadelakt, Marmorino and Stucco are lime-based finishes that follow the ancient tradition of lime pressing techniques.
Their expressiveness cannot be described with words, when you stand in front of them, you can hardly resist the feeling of touching the surfaces.

stucco de cal

Lime stucco. embarro@work

It is said that Tadelakt has its origin in Marrakech, but that is probably only half the truth. Marrakech was a tent city without walls until the 6th century. The beginning of construction work in Marrakech dates back to the time when the Roman presence in Morocco ended. It can be assumed that the Romans knew the advantageous properties of the Marrakech limestone deposits and used them for their own buildings. The processing of Tadelakt is too similar to the classical Marmorino techniques that the Romans used “since antiquity”: the two-layer wet-on-wet processing of the mortar, the compacting and polishing… Of course, the processing was based on the locally given material and tool conditions, but the origin of Tadelakt cannot be reduced to Marrakech alone.

In this context it is also interesting to note that comparable techniques of final polishing with a river pebble are also known from Africa and South America. Here, a thin, last clay layer of the exterior plaster was polished with river pebbles to better withstand the weather.




Fresco painting on Tadelakt. embarro@work

Tadelakt properties

Nowadays Tadelakt is a labour-intensive luxury that can only be performed by specialists. The name is often misused for micro-cement and other pseudo-products, Tadelakt should -if not be made with real Marrakech lime- at least with real hydraulised aerial lime and finally polished with a stone to live up to its name.

Tadelakt is waterresistant -not waterproof- and is best suited for outdoor use and showers, but only if used carefully and maintained regularly. Anyone who uses Tadelakt for surfaces that constantly come into contact with water must impregnate the surfaces regularly, otherwise the fine lime particles on the surface will be washed out. Once the surface is roughened, it needs to be repaired. I do not like to use Tadelakt on work tops and floors because the necessary abrasion resistance and shock proof is missing.



Tadelakt. embarro@work

Lime stuccos

A less expensive alternative are our traditional lime stuccos based on high quality hydrated lime. My lime stuccos are also suitable for outdoor use and showers, with the same restrictions as described above for Tadelakt . They are visually indistinguishable from Tadelakt, but cost a little more than half the price. They are not polished with a stone, but “only” smoothed with a Venetian trowel with pressure.

We are pleased to provide you with additional information. Please contact us at info@embarro.com.


Due to the complex application technology of the Tadelakt, we have been successfully offering workshops for many years. Here the processing can be learned in small groups under my guidance during a two-day practical workshop in Tavira. Please check the category “Workshops” to see if there is a date offered. Otherwise we publish our dates in our Facebook and Instagram. You can also find many other examples of our work on our Instagram account.



Tadelakt wall. embarro@work

Product informations

In the following an overview with the product data sheets for the most important materials for Tadelakt and lime-Stucco:

  • STUCCO-TADELAKT EMBARRO … pure white lime mortar for stucco and Tadelakt in interiors and exteriors… (information only available in ES and PT)


  • PIGMENTS … A product of the natural decomposition of rocks and minerals containing iron. The colouring substance is hydrated iron oxide. It is completely lightfast and weather resistant. The country of origin is …

Additional information

The publications presented here provide general information. We work with the materials described here, but we do not sell these materials.