Middle East

How has the production of the Kaaba cover, Kiswah, changed over the centuries?

Each year, on the 9th or 10th day of Dhul Al-Hijja, the 12th and last month of the Islamic calendar, the Holy Kaaba is adorned with a new cover (Kiswah) to commemorate the opportunity of Eid al-Adha.

Abdul Hamid bin Sayed Al Maliki, Vice President of the Abdul Aziz Complex for Manufacturing Kaaba Kiswah, said the new Kiswah was on the first day of Muharram, not the ninth day of Zoo Le Hija. He said he would be hung in the Kaaba. , Marks the beginning of a new Islamic year.

Making Kiswah is not an easy task. Skilled workers and technicians spent hours creating and embroidering Kiswah accurately and perfectly to cover the Kaaba, the center of Islam around the world, throughout the year.

Arab News took a tour of the King Abdul Aziz Complex to build the Kaaba in Mecca to witness the production of Kiswah first hand.

The 100,000-square-meter complex was formerly known as the Kiswah factory, founded in 1928. Following the Royal Decree, the name was changed to the King Abdul Aziz Complex for the production of Kabakiswa in commemoration of King Abdul Aziz, the founder of Saudi Arabia. From King Salman in 2017.

According to Almariki, the complex has undergone a lot of development, including the transition from traditional manual labor to automated systems.

Kiswah is made from scratch in a complex, starting with procuring silk and cotton yarns that have been tested for quality in the laboratory.


These threads are dyed and woven into the fabric with the help of high-end machines. After this process, the fabric undergoes intense physical testing to ensure its strength and durability to withstand all kinds of environmental factors throughout the year.

Ahmed Al-Sulami, a quality analyst at the institute, said: The tensile strength must be 1000 kg or more. “

658 square meters of Kiswah is made from 670 kg of black silk. It consists of 47 pieces of silk sewn by a special machine.

“The sides of the kaaba are not equal and are not considered symmetrical length cubes. Each side of the kaaba cube is different in length and width,” said the head of the textile department of the complex. Salman Arlucman, who has been with us for about 40 years, says.

Kiswah features the name and attributes of Allah.

Al-Luqman told Arab News: “In the first stage, the yarn is wound on a bobbin of the required length. Then a warping process is carried out, the yarn is collected and transferred to a loom that works with a jacquard loom. This is black silk. The secret of the text woven into the textile. “

The automatic weaving department also manufactures white cotton Ihram that covers Kiswah when it is lifted about 3 meters from the bottom at the beginning of the Mecca pilgrimage season.

Kiswah then moved to the gold-plating and embroidery department, where the beautiful golden bands and door curtains around the Kaaba were precisely handcrafted.

Sami Musaiyan, director of the gold-plated and embroidered department of Kiswah, has more than 50 skilled craftsmen and embroiderers between the ages of 23 and 60 who write 100 kg of sterling silver and 120 kg of St. Kluang’s poems and other prayers. He told Arab News that he had embroidered by hand. Of silver thread coated with 21 gold on 56 different pieces of silk.

Muzayyan said: Rather, it is made of gold-coated silver made in Germany, which features an excellent level of flexibility to facilitate the procedure. The text of the Kaaba is first printed according to the manuscript established in the Thuluth (a type of Islamic calligraphy) created by the former Kaaba calligrapher Abdul Rahim Amin Buhari.


The Kaaba door consists of five connecting curtains featuring different Quranic poems and three complete surahs (Al-Fatiha, Dawn, Annas, and Quraysh).

In addition to the golden band, Kiswah has 17 candirs, lamp-shaped medallions, each named after Allah: Ya Hayyu Ya Qayyum, Allahu Akbar, Ya Rahman Ya Rahim.

He said the embroiderer used manasij, a traditional wooden hoop.

Pull the white cloth and then put the black silk on top. Next, tighten it so that the worker can embroidery. To give the texture of the embroidery, the letters are filled with cotton thread before being covered with gold and silver.

Kiswah is distinguished by the Arabic stabbed “McCa al Mukarama”, the year in which it was used, and the name of the king.


It takes 8-10 months to complete all the sashimi. Once completed, the silk pieces are collected, sewn and gold plated. All parts of Kiswah are kept in a special warehouse for the general affairs of the two sacred mosques and can only be used with the permission of King Salman and Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

The complex will soon become a cultural attraction, creating more employment opportunities.

“We are working closely with Dr. Abdulrahman Arsdais, President of the Complex, a program, initiative and project to make the complex a cultural landmark and an attractive place for all who come to Macca. “We are developing. People from all over the world can enjoy a rich experience,” said Almarki.

The complex will use artificial intelligence to enrich the visitor’s experience through robots that assist visitors in different languages ​​by explaining the origins of Kiswah, the selection of Quranic poetry, and calligraphy. It is working.

Almariki also said that some initiatives will focus on women’s empowerment and training of Saudi women to participate in the production and embroidery of Kiswah in the future.

The complex will also soon launch a restoration center that can restore various parts of Kiswah.

http://www.eyeofriyadh.com/news/details/how-the-manufacturing-of-the-kaaba-cover-kiswa-changed-over-the-centuries How has the production of the Kaaba cover, Kiswah, changed over the centuries?

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