Take a tour of the Herbawi Textile Factory, Palestine’s last maker of the classic Kuffiyeh.
Hover over the images for captions, and enjoy!
It takes a lot of thread to weave the classic chequered pattern onto rolls of waiting cloth. The spools are all stored in the back, and transferred here to larger spools, which fit onto the massive weaving machines. The traditional patterns see the checks sewn on in solid black (think Yasser Arafat), Red (which here signals you’re of a leftist persuasion), or white. Today, however, the weaving gets a bit fancy, with all manor or colour combinations possible.
The spool transfer process. I can’t imagine how finicky it is to load. One knot or tangle and the whole thing is a mess!
This machine is loaded, ready to make a rainbow kuffiyeh!
Here’s the more traditional red pattern being sewn on.
Classic patterns for sale in Hebron! Make sure to look for the tag that says Made in Palestine to ensure you’re buying an authentic Herbawi!
Images were all captured back in 2009. The factory is still there today, but has been jazzed up a bit thanks to loads of business!
Getting there: At the mouth of the entrance to the Old City (with your back to the Old City) its the second (I think) street on your right, up a bit of a steep hill that curves to the left. Follow the curve and keep on the same road for about 5-7 minutes, and keep your eyes open for the sign!
Really getting there: At the mouth of the Old City, turn left, ask where Masnaa Al-Herbawi is… follow your guide.