The Hirbawi factory and its artisans have woven the authentic Kufiya since 1961. We promote local and ethical Palestinian trade in a step towards the self-determination and liberation of our People.
The symbolic “Kufiya” (aka “Keffieh” / “Keffiyeh”) garment is more important today than ever.
Traditional worn over the head or shoulders by farmers, the last century has seen a revival of the Kufiya as it became synonymous with the quest for Palestinian freedom and independence.
Adopted by freedom fighters in the 1930’s Arab Revolt, the Kufiya became uniform against the occupation of the British Empire. Not long after, in continued solidarity with Palestinian heritage and independence from Israeli occupation, the Kufiya ascended into a powerful symbol of Palestinian struggle and freedom.
Today the Palestinian Kufiya, famous for its black & white pattern, is worn across the world by those standing in solidarity with Palestine – in the US, Europe, Malaysia, Indonesia, and of course the Middle East.
It has become a meaningful fashion item worn by political activists, musicians, artists, and designers around the world.
Unfortunately due to increase in overseas low-cost manufacture, most Kufiyas seen today can no longer hold ties to the land it represents. The growing competitive pressure of mass-produced alternatives began to hurt local Palestinian weavers. Coupled with a shrinking economy from the Israeli occupation, the production and trade from Palestinian small business is dwindling.
The local production of the original Kufiya fell from 150,000 units per year in 1993 to a mere 10,000 units in 2010…
Keeping tradition alive, the Hirbawi Kufiya is now the only kufiya still being actively produced in Palestine. Yasser Hirbawi opened his historic factory in 1961.
Each Kufiya headdress is handmade using a specific cross-stitching technique developed over decades. Only a handful of people still know these time-honoured techniques that are honed over many generations.
The kufiya is traditionally woven on two layers, the “base”, and the “pattern” or “flower” ( وردة) in Arabic. The looms must be monitored constantly. The threads between the patterns are cut manually while the machine is running. After the roll of Kufiyas is woven by our machines, they are sewn into individual Kufiyas and the iconic tassels are added.
Although Hirbawi founder Yasser Hirbawi passed away in 2018, his three sons carry on the determination, passion, and commitment their father instilled in them, the business, and Palestinian supporters worldwide. The Hirbawi factory is one of many Palestinian Businesses committed in the struggle to build better lives, and preserve the soul of their ancestors.
To the world the kufiya will forever be a symbol of liberty. Those who wear it express their desire to see all people, across the world, live peacefully and with self-determination.
To Palestinians in particular, the kufiya can be said to mean two things. Palestine will live on. Palestine will be free.