Weaving Today

Weaving Today

Bedouin Weaving
Bedouin women are still very actively involved in weaving. For thousands of years women have followed the same process of weaving, and their weaving has resulted in rugs for the floor, rugs to cover the mattress type pads in the sitting area of the tent, cushion covers, bags for storing grain and clothes, saddle bags for camels and donkeys, and cradles to carry their children on their backs.

Bedouin still weave the long narrow rugs that when sewn together form the outside wall and top of the tent. A tent is called bait esh-sha’ar, or literally “house of hair”. In late fall when the harvest is in (because many Bedouin work as laborers in the wheat and barley harvest), and before the rainy season, the Bedouin women set up their looms and start the process of weaving. A long rug one meter wide and four meters long will take the women more than two months to complete with several female family members working together. Weaving is very much a social activity with groups of women chatting, drinking tea and working on the rug.

The art of weaving is almost totally extinct among the village women of the plateau but the skill is still very much a common activity for the Bedouin women who make items for domestic use.