By JOMANA ALRASHID | ARAB NEWS
LONDON: The British Museum here is hosting a demonstration of textile weaving by Hassan Alwany, the master weaver from Dar Al-Kiswa in Makkah, revealing the art of producing the richly embroidered textiles that are used to cover the Kaaba in Makkah.
This gold and silver embroidered black silk cloth is replaced annually during the Haj pilgrimage. This is the first time these skills have been demonstrated in London by a weaver from the Kiswa factory in Makkah.
Demonstrations of the textile weaving will run throughout the week. Entry to witness the art is free of charge.
The demonstration will take place alongside the mid-term holiday program themed on Arabian Journeys as part of the exhibition “Haj: Journey to the Heart of Islam” and features examples of these rich textiles as part of the displays.
The Kiswa is the black embroidered silk cloth that covers the Kaaba, the center to which all Muslims turn in prayer five times a day.
A new cloth is placed on the Kaaba and the old cloth removed every year on the ninth of Dul Hijjah, the day on which pilgrims stand in prayers on the plains of Arafat.
The old Kiswa is removed, cut into small pieces and gifted to visiting foreign Muslim dignitaries and organizations.