100 years old textiles of the Kaaba

About its history

  • It was made in Egypt due to the skill of its weaving from 190 to 1381 AH. It was customary for the Kaaba covering to be placed on the Kaaba for a year. Then after the Kaaba washing ceremony, it was changed and the old covering was divided and gifted to the kings, princes, presidents and ambassadors of the various Islamic countries to bless the Kaaba.
  • The covering of the Kaaba is made of natural black dyed silk, decorated with golden and silver cerma threads, and lined with natural linen, which helps to strengthen the silk fabric against the tensile strength of the metal threads.
  • The cladding with dimensions of 89 cm width x 634 cm length was fixed on a wooden frame with dimensions using metal pins and covered with a piece of transparent plastic fixed to a wooden side frame.
  • The kiswa is written in thuluth script by Abdullah Al-Zahdi, the great calligrapher who died in AH. He was the author of the writings of the Great Mosque of Mecca. Khedive Ismail summoned him to Egypt to write the texts of the covering of the Kaaba.
  • Text: In the name of God, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful (so that they may witness the benefits for themselves and mention the name of God in the days of information concerning what He has provided them with of the livestock, so eat of them and feed the wretched poor) (28) – Hajj.
  • In 1951, King Abdul Aziz gifted Hassan Al-Jisr, the ambassador of Lebanon to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, may God have mercy on them, a piece of the covering of the Kaaba. Then, after his death, it passed to his grandchildren, and then to Sheikh Ali Shalabi, may God preserve him, who deposited it in the Mansouri Mosque in approximately 2000, and it has remained in the mosque until today.

The visible signs of damage to a piece of the covering of the Kaaba

  • Manifestations of damage to the artifact.
  • Weakness in the extremities as a result of fixation using metal pins.
  • Metallic threads are cut and separated from the cotton threads in many places.
  • General oxidation of metal threads as a result of exposure to atmospheric factors.
  • The presence of dust and dirt on the cladding fabric due to the presence of pieces in the packing layer used to protect the piece.
  • The presence of damage and almost complete loss of two pieces of green silk that were used to decorate both sides of the piece of the kiswa.
  • One edge of the cladding and the inscriptions it bears were cut and lost as a result of the rupture of that part. In its place, there is a restoration with an old black cloth.

Treatment and maintenance steps for the covering of the Kaaba

  • Remove the piece from the wooden holder and remove the plastic packaging
  • Document the damage condition on the part using the 1:1 scale drawing
  • Dust cleaning with dry cleaning technique
  • Cleaning metal threads from dirt and oxidation layer
  • Fixation of loose and unstable metallic threads
  • Complete the missing part of the cladding fabric in three steps:

A – Complete the inner lining and connect it with the new piece

b- Completing the black cloth layer with a cloth suitable in thickness and color

c- Completion of the green cloth layer on both sides of the trim piece

  • Install a full frame on all sides of the piece from the back, to be used to lift and fix the piece on the new holder, instead of metal pins.