JASSIM ABUZAID ARABNEWS
Thursday 18 October 2012
JEDDAH: The General Presidency of the Two Holy Mosques Affairs handed in the new Kiswa (Kaaba’s cover) to the senior gatekeeper of the Kabaa yesterday in Makkah.
Sheikh Abdurrahman Al-Sudais, chief of the general presidency, handed in the Kiswa to Sheikh Abdul Qadir Al-Shaibi in order to put it on the Kaaba on the 9th of Dul Hijja (Oct. 25), as is the annual custom.
The Shaiba family has been the custodian of the Kaaba key for over 15 centuries. They are responsible for the maintenance of the Kaaba, including opening and closing its doors, cleaning, the annual draping and the reception of visitors inside the Kaaba.
The Kiswa is made of pure natural silk dyed in black. It is fourteen meters high. On the top third segment of the cloth lies the Kiswa belt measuring, ninety-five centimeters in width and forty-five meters in length. It consists of sixteen pieces and surrounds the Kiswa from all sides. The belt is embroidered with silver threads covered with gold.
King Abdulaziz ordered the construction of a special factory for the manufacturing of the Kiswa, in Makkah in Muharram 1346H. Before that, the Kiswa was manufactured in Egypt.
The factory was moved to a new building in Umm Al-Jude in Makkah in 1397H and was supplied with modern machines.
A new automated department was introduced to the factory, while maintaining the manual department in order to continue with the artistic tradition and embroidery of the Kiswa.