The Herbawi factory was once dubbed “The Last Kuffiyeh Factory in Palestine '' as 100 kuffiyeh factories have closed their doors in the 1990s due to competition from low price and poor quality imported kuffiyeh replicas. The Al-Herbawi Factory was the only one to continue operating, however with a small percentage of its actual capacity. Fortunately, due to wide international support and a revival of local awareness to the importance of supporting local producers, the Herbawi factory is running with full capacity.
The Herbawi Factory opened its doors in 1961, bringing two machines from Syria to begin producing Kuffiyehs, which came in the two original colour patterns of white/ black and white/ red. In the 1990s, they started introducing coloured versions as they became a fashion hit worldwide, but also tried to maintain a strong Palestinian identity to their products. The competition has failed to deter the Herbawi family from maintaining their high-quality products through continuing to use good quality raw materials such as the silk threads and cotton.
The kuffiyeh has always been a symbol of Palestinian national identity and their steadfastness in the face of occupation. Today, it also worn worldwide as a statement of solidarity with the Palestinian people’s struggle for freedom and dignity. We believe that wearing a kuffiyeh specifically from Al-Herbawi Factory is a statement of defiance not only to the Israeli occupation, but also to imperialism all around the world and capitalism’s “free market” that nearly wiped out this craft in Palestine. Use it to spread a message, educate people, and sustain livelihoods of local producers keeping Palestinian identity alive. Today, Al Herbawi’s kuffiyehs are exported to the world through many activist networks and the Herbawi factory is open for visitors to see the processes of production and pick from an array of different patterns and colours in the Bedouin style gift shop.
Product Selling Points: on location or online.