Specify the Element


 Inventory Code for Element

ESFT 75/2013

(Name of the element (as used by the community


Handwoven Textiles

 (Other Name(s) of the element (if any

Handwoven textiles- Traditional Loom - Loom Fabric

 Commitments of communities, groups or individuals concerned

Artisans/ Professional Individuals

 Geographic location of the element


Name of collector

Ahmed Mohamed Abdel Raheem Ali, Ahmed Mostafa Ibrahim, Ashraf Nassart Mohamed Roshdy, Amani Shehata Abdel Kahlen Wali, Amira Samy Khalil Amin Kozman, Aya Mamdouh Moawad, Beshoy Refaat Selim, Tamer Risk Seoudi Ismail, Hassan Ramadan Ali Abdel Al, Khaled Mohamed Mohamed Metwally, Zeinab Salah Saad Abdallah, Salem Mohamed Salem Abou Zeid, Saber Ismail, Abdel Rahman Ali Hassan, Abdel Wahab Hanafi Abdel Kader, Alaa Mohamed Mahmoud Ahmed, Lamyaa Abdel Gawwad Zahran, Mohamed Adly Mohamed Hassan, Mahmoud Khalaf Abdel Rahman Ali, Mostafa Ezz el Din Kamal, Mostafa Kamel, Mohamed Hamed Yassa, Maha Elsayed Mohamed Elsayed Abdallah, Nariman Hamdi Abdel Wanis, Hebatallah Mohamed, Heba Ali Badri, Hend Mohamed Hassan Qareen, Haitham Youness Gad Elmoula, Yehia Hassan Mohamed

Place and date of collection

Akhmim: 29/5/2005, 31/4/2005, 1/6/2005, 29/7/2008, 30/9/2009

Alexandria: 11/7/2008

Al Barraniya: 20/7/2008
Al Gammaliyah: 16/4/2011

Al Gomrok: 25/3/2008

Al Kharga: 9/1/2012

Al Dalangat: 25/7/2010

Al Deir: 21/7/2008

Al Rashda: 26/1/2011

Al Raheb: 19/10/2009

Al Sayyeda Zeinab: 11/6/2008

Al Sayyed Aisha: 20/3/2008

Al Shaghba: 20/10/2012

Al Sheikh Zoweid: 10/1/2011

Al Soufi: 17/5/2010

Al Areesh al Awwal: 11/1/2011

Al Ghouriyeh: 30/6/2012

Al Fekreyya: 16/3/2008

Al Fanat: 24/7/2008

Al Karnak: 27/3/2008

Al Kawamel Bahri: 6/6/2010

Al Kom al Ahmar: 25/9/2009

Al Minya: 23/7/2008

Al Minya Awal: 19/3/2008, 26/7/2010

Al Minya Khamess: 29/3/2010

Ahnassia el Khadraa: 21/7/2008

Boulak el Dakrour: 11/7/2001

Tala: 21/10/2009

Hayy al Kawthar: 23/12/2012

Dessya: 3/1/2011

Zawyet el Sultan: 272010

Zefta: 3/6/2010

Zahra: 26/9/2009, 6/10/2009

Salamouni: 11/4/2010, 10/7/2010

Sandra: 24/5/2008

Sohag Awwal: 29/3/2010, 14/10/2012

Tahat el Amanda: 23/9/2009

Tanta Awwal: 26/7/2010, 26/1/2011

Aniba: 3/5/2010

Fowwa: 27/12/2010

Qalfaw: 14/7/2010, 15/7/2010

Kafr Abu Gomaa: 31/3/2010

Mot: 23/1/2012

Nasser: 27/2/2008, 28/7/2008

Nasr al Nouba: 5/5/2010

Wadi Khareet: 12/6/2010

Free, prior and informed consent to the nomination

The reporters (Mr. Atef Gouda Abdel Rahim and Ms. Mona) have agreed to allow the Egyptian Society for Folk Traditions to represent them in the registration of hand-weaving as an element as well as in the list of the intangible cultural heritage of the Arab Republic of Egypt



Contact Information


 Concerned specialized party

Egyptian Society for Folk Traditions
Established 12/04/2000
NGO Registration Number 1434
UNESCO Accreditation Number 90182
Meeting GA 2012.4

 Responsible Person

Name: Dr. Ahmed Ali Morsi
Address: 47 Soliman Gohar St., Dokki, Giza, Egypt
Tel: +2 02 3762 6702
+2 02 3762 4409



Handweaving is composed of lengthwise long yarn called the warp (seda) crossed by widthwise yarn called the weft (lehma). Weaving began in ancient Egypt and was a home production in rural homes. Cities like Akhmim and the village of Abu Shaara in the Nile Delta became famous for this type of craft. Generally speaking, Egypt is famed for its Coptic weaving in addition to papyrus which was one of its principal exports in the ancient world. 

During the middle kingdom, the ancient Egyptians began to cultivate cotton and named it the tree of wool. At the time, linen was the main material used in weaving. Egypt produced linen as soft as silk for kings, princes, and mummification practices. and rough linen for the lay people. Most houses in ancient Egypt had their looms and the craft was handed down from one generation to the next until today. The craft is still carried out in the same way today as in ancient times. With the rise of the industrial revolution, steam, and energy, hand-looms slowly gave way to mechanical looms which led to the downwards spiral of towns producing the craft. Only a few towns/villages remain in Egypt that continue to produce using hand-looms such as Sakyet Abu Shaara village in Ashmoun, Mounofeyya in which every household still has a hand-loom to produce internationally renowned handwoven silk carpets as well as Harania village in Giza, Akhmim, and others, where weaving is the principal source of income.    

(Description of the element (not to exceed 300 words What , who, where, how, when

1.      Providing daily needs of citizens

2.      Main source of income for works in this profession

3.      Presenting tourists visiting Egypt with authentic Egyptian products    

 Present function of the element

Naim, Dr. Hanna. “Hand-weaving in Akhmim.” (Presented as part of research to the Industrial Modernization Center).

Zaki, Safaa. “Women of Spinning and Weaving: Economic and Social Conditions.” Data prepared by Arab Research Center.

Mohei el Din, Ashraf, Cairo: The Forum for Women in Development (FWID), 1999: Page 263. 1st ed.

Ammar, Abdel Rahman. “History of the Egyptian Art of Weaving,” Cairo: Nahdet Misr Publishing Group. 1974.

Omar, Ismail Raafat, “Study of Akhmim Weaving and How to Gain From it Creatively in the Field of Weaving.” Doctorate Thesis, Helwan University, Faculty of Arts. Cairo: 1982.

El Zoghby, Kawthar and Ensaf Nasr. “Studies in Weaving” (Weaving Fibers, Setting up Fabric, Dyeing, Printing, Yarn Composition, Bleaching, Preparation) Cairo: Dar el Fikr el Arabi Publishing. 1993: Page 464. 4th ed.

Abdel Rasoul, Thoraya Mahmoud. “Animal Elements: Documentation and Classification of Islamic Textiles until the end of the Fatimid Period.” Cairo: General Egyptian Book Organization. Page 280. 


 Written sources from books & references

The archival data related to this topic at the Egyptian Archives of Folk Life and Folk Traditions

Number of videos: 701
Number of pictures: 4006
Number of voice recordings: 35

 Audio-Visual Sources concerning the element Archives, Museums or oral traditions

Skills related to arts and traditional crafts

Domains represented by the element

Tools: Handloom comprised of:

Al Zarakoun, Al Matwa, Al Rawwah, Al Daffa (Beater), Al Makouk (Shuttle), Al Misht (Reed), Al Dork, Al Dawwassa (Treadle), Al Marwaha, Shabaket al Rassm, Al Sahabat

Machines: Tools aiding in loom and yarn preparation: Al Maboush, Al Dolab, Al Haweel 
Products: Fabric, Carpets, Curtains, Tablecloths, Linens, Bedcovers, Scarves


 Material Aspects of the element

Intangible Oral Culture: “Runs like a shuttle”: a saying that expresses speed in execution

Intangible Aspects


 Situations where element is practiced

Teaching or Heriditary

 Means of transmission

Reduced occurrence

 Present Condition of the Element

Protecting the element and recording it through the Egyptian Archives of Folk Life and Folk Traditions  

 Current and recent efforts and measures to safeguard the element


Regulations threatening the element:

1. Using electric motor to wind the bobbin in the presence of children with the female workers/artisans.

2. There is no obligatory routine checkup to assess the effect of inhaling dust from cotton lint continuously during the weaving process.

Factors threatening the element’s transfer:

1.      Small size of most working spaces and their overcrowding of the space due to the size of the loom and the yarn stock.

2.      Lack of industrial safety such as fire extinguishing equipment in the workplace.



3.      Artisans sit crouched below the loom which can lead to future health problems.

4.      Reliance of women workers on their eyesight above 40 years of age, especially those involved in the finishing of the product using a needle.  


Endangering factors of the safeguarding of the element

1.      Gathering and documenting crafts through the Egyptian Archives for Folk Life and Folk Traditions

2.      Training and developing new guidelines and trainers for the craft of weaving

3.       Creating markets and exhibitions specialized in woven products

 (Suggestions for protecting the element (procedures for protection

Mona - Atef Gouda Abdel Reheem

 Names of informants and professional practitioners

Women, men, and young people (both girls and boys) work in this craft. Each has a specific role such as: principal weaver, assistant weaver, marwaha worker, shuttle bobbin winder, heddle and reed threader, finishing worker (woman). 

 Description of groups – institutions – individuals - organizations of practitioners or participants of the element

The Egyptian Society for Folk Traditions 

Organizations that take care of the element/practitioners; i.e. NGOs,syndicates (if available)

Agreeing to participate in the documentation of the element and its protection

Contribution to ensuring visibility and awareness and to encouraging dialoguge

There are no restrictions

 Restrictions (if available) for using the data of the element

There are no copyright issues concerning the collected data

 Respect for customary practices governing access