New Kiswa Draped over Holy Kaaba
The Kiswa, or ornate protective covering draped over the holy Kaaba, was replaced with a new one on Friday with the beginning of the Hajj pilgrimage.
Some 160 workers replaced the Kiswa under the supervision of head of the General Presidency for the affairs of the Grand Mosque and the Prophet's Mosque Sheikh Dr. Abdulrahman bin Abdulaziz al-Sudais.
The Kiswa is made of 670 kilograms of silk that is dyed black. It takes up 120 kilograms of gold-plated thread and 100 kilograms of silver-plated thread.
The stitching of Islamic calligraphy in gold threads onto the silk is a skill that has been passed on from generation to generation.
The new Kiswa was produced by some 200 Saudi craftsmen at the Kiswa Factory of the Holy Kaaba in Makkah.
At the Hajj’s end, the Kiswa will be cut into pieces to be distributed to dignitaries and religious organizations.