Herbawi Textile Factory
Location: Hebron, West Bank
"We are making the symbol of Palestine. This scarf is the history and the heritage of our country." – Yasser Herbawi.
The keffiyeh or kufiya is a traditional Middle Eastern headdress fashioned from a square scarf, usually made of cotton. It is typically worn by Arabs, as well as by some Jews and Kurds. Its distinctive standard woven checkered pattern may have originated in an ancient Mesopotamian representation of either fishing nets or ears of grain, but the true origin of the pattern remains unknown.
The Herbawi Textile Factory in Hebron is the last Palestinian-owned factory making keffiyehs. The Herbawi family, who for five decades had been the only Palestinian manufacturer of keffiyehs, is now struggling with sales due to the imports of cheap copies of the traditional scarf. However, unlike the cheap imports, Herbawi still uses 100% cotton in its manufacturing.
Yasser Herbawi’s son, Izzat, states the importance of creating the Palestinian symbol in Palestine, “the keffiyeh is a tradition of Palestine and it should be made in Palestine. We should be the ones making it.”