Negev Weaving Project in Lakyia

Negev Weaving Project in Lakyia

The Lakiya Negev Weaving project enables over 100 women to participate in the production of rugs, bags and pillow cases; from spinning, dyeing, twining, weaving and quality control, as a unique process that is hardly seen anywhere else in the world.

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Lakiya was established in 1991 as an income-generating project for bedouin women in the negev area of occupied Palestine. Today it plays a vital role in enabling 130 women achieve personal empowerment and financial self sufficiency.
Crafted in traditional and modern designs, lakiya produces carpets that are hand-woven using pure handspun wool and natural dyes.

The Lakiya Bedouin Weaving Project has helped to re-establish the value of weaving skills and preserve traditional spinning and weaving as a positive part of community identity whilst creating an income generating opportunity for women.

According to an external evaluation by the British NGO Oxfam UK, at the project’s tenth year of operation, the Lakiya project has had a major impact on women, their families and communities. The first Bedouin woman to get a driving license was someone working in the project. Illiterate women were encouraged to acquire reading and writing skills, widen their scope of knowledge and expand their horizons. The need for teamwork, especially for loom-setting, helped to rebuild women’s social networks. Perhaps most importantly it raised their self confidence, self-esteem and social status.

Traditional Bedouin weaving is hand-woven on ground looms with distinguished linear designs in red, blue, green, black and white. In addition, the Lakiya project has introduced complementary designs using rustic and pastel colors to create a range evoking refinement, beauty and originality. Hand spun yarn made with drop spindles from pure local Awassi sheep wool is dyed and plied ready for a group of skilled women to set on a loom created from tent pegs and pieces of wood. The tight warp faced weaving created on these rudimentary frames is both elegant and durable. Colors and yarn strength are ensured by fast dyes combined with moth-proofing.

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