For Palestine. From Palestine
The Hirbawi factory and its artisans have woven authentic Kufiyas since 1961. We believe that trading Palestinian products is a step forward for the self-determination and liberation of the Palestinian people.
Wearing Your Support
SYMBOL OF STRUGGLE FOR FREEDOM
The symbolic “Kufiya” headdress is more important now than ever before.
Traditionally worn by farmers on the head or shoulders, over the last century the Kufiya has become synonymous with the quest for Palestinian freedom & self-determination.
It was adopted by freedom fighters in the 1930s Arab Revolt in resistance to occupation by the British Empire. Not long after, in solidarity with Palestinian heritage & independence from Israeli occupation, the Kufiya ascended into the symbol of the Palestinian struggle and became a means to celebrate a simple and human desire: the Palestinian wish and thirst for freedom.
PLAGUED BY POPULARITY
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, the scarves sold in Europe or in Jerusalem and Bethlehem souvenir shops are typically not made in Palestine. Ironically, the fame of the kufiya as a symbol of the Palestinian struggle for freedom eventually began to hurt local traditional weavers, who could not compete with the mass-produced imitations made in China and India.
After multiple decades of booming success, production at the Hirbawi factory abruptly fell from over 150,000 kufiyas per year in 1993 to a mere 10,000 in 2010. Why?
Following the signing of the 1993 Oslo Accords and the adoption of a free-market policy, the import of cheaper, replica kufiyas made in China began to flood the Palestinian market. This continues to be exacerbated by the lack of effort of the Palestinian Authority in creating regulatory protections of the domestic production of Palestinian products such as the Kufiya, and in allowing the import of imitations.
And because of the Israeli occupation, a shrinking Palestinian economy, and the Israeli checkpoints and roadblocks created further hindrances to the production and trade of Palestinian small businesses.
After supporters of the Palestinian-made Hirbawi Kufiya brought such issues to light, the international community responded. And the mission of the Hirbawi Family to preserve the Palestinian Kufiya was invigorated.
THE ONLY ORIGINAL KUFIYA
Keeping tradition alive, the Hirbawi Kufiya is the only kufiya to be authentically made 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.
Preservation, and Freedom
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.