Bayt Al Fann

12/ With a steady & sturdy hand, a calligrapher’s passion & commitment to the art of the written word can be displayed through various mediums, but none more honorable than displaying that passion on the Holy Kaaba’s Kiswa.

13/ Writing on the Kiswah requires strong skills & long hours of training. A challenging part for the calligrapher is the compound & overlapping texts, which should be beautiful & with the logical order of words, combining the elements of the traditional artform

14/ The methods of writing on the Kiswa have developed over the years. Previously calligraphers used chalk to write the script on the silk cloth. In later years, silk-screen printing was introduced which allows the calligrapher to save the script & preserve it on a computer

15/ Creating the Kiswah is a four-step process. First, the raw silk, imported from Italy, is dyed black over a 22-hour period, then woven mechanically into plain black sheets. These are then separated — some will be embroidered in gold and silver, others in black.

16/ After this process, the material is tested for resistance & density, then printed with a pattern to be embroidered over. 54 pieces of cloth are created, then sewn together to fit the Kaaba on one of the world's largest sewing machines with a 16m by 14m sewing table.

17/ As the new Kiswah is attached, the old one is lowered from beneath after loosening the supporting robes. When the new Kiswah is fully in place, the individual pieces are sewn together to form a complete encasement.

18/ Every year, the old Kiswah is removed, cut into small pieces, and given to certain individuals, visiting foreign Muslim dignitaries and organizations. You can find pieces of the Kiswah in museum collections across the globe.

19/ The Kiswah used to be produced in Egypt but in 1927, King Abdulaziz ordered that the production of the Kiswah should take place in Makkah. It was made of a fine quality black velvet backed with a heavy-duty lining. Curtain for Door of the Ka‘bah, Cairo, Egypt
Dated 1846–7 AD

Jun 26

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