Stages of the Manufacture of the Kiswah

Stages of the Manufacture of the Kiswah

Stages of the Manufacture of the Kiswah Stages of the Manufacture of the Kiswah Stages of the Manufacture of the Kiswah

The kiswah manufacture passes through several stages, the most important of which are:

  1. First is the dyeing stage, where raw silk in skeins of thread are imported and dyed according to the required colours. Black is the colour of the exterior covering of the Holy Ka'bah, and green is the colour of the interior kiswah. Dark red is the colour of the belt of the Prophet's Holy Room. All work is done according to the most advanced dyeing techniques.

  2. The second stage is the weaving stage. In the past, the factory depended on manual weaving, but now machine weaving is used. Manual weaving however is an old, valued skill that is still preserved. (16, p. 76) The weaving material used in the manufacture of the kiswah of the Holy Ka'bah is divided into two categories:

    (a) Plain weaving is used for the belt and curtain later embroidered with threads and put under the kiswah.

    (b) The jacquard method weaves expressions and Qur'anic verses directly into the cloth. It is delicate, technical work, requiring skilled craftsmen.

  3. The third stage was printing, where designs, by embroidering, are transferred to the cloth by the turb style. It was an obsolete, time consuming method that was not efficacious. The factory administration introduced a machine printing division. This facilitated easier work and sped up production which was varied and refined. The new process uses shablon or silk screening.

  4. The fourth stage is embroidery work which takes up the most important part of the covering of the Holy Ka'bah. It uses Islamic designs and Qur'anic verses embroidered with silver and gold threads. The unique stuffing process is done manually because it is impossible to do this highly refined work mechanically. This gold embroidery work is padded and raised up to two centimetres. (18, p. 18)

  5. The fifth and final stage is the assembly, where the jacquard cloth panels are assembled to form the four sides of the kiswah. The belt and the curtain are fixed to the kiswah which is then put over the Holy Ka'bah. (16, p. 17)
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