Holy Al Kiswah to continue relying on Saurer

The state-owned company was founded in 1926 and is now located in the district of Umm Al-Joud in Mecca, Saudi Arabia.

Holy Al Kiswah employs around 250 people from Mecca. Every year, 100 of the most creative embroiderers are selected to decorate the new Kiswah with magnificent embroidery. In total, every year the company processes approximately 400 kg of gold and silver thread with thicknesses of less than a third of a millimetre.

The Kiswah (Arabic: ةوسك ) is a 260 m2 cloth that wraps the Kaaba (the most sacred site in Islam) in Mecca in Saudi Arabia. It is made of 700 kg of pure silk and 120 kg of gold and silver threads. The finished cloth weighs approximately 1 t and a new one is made every year, since the embroidery oxidises or fades due to the high humidity.

For the production of the new Kiswah, Saurer supplied a machine that was specially rebuilt for the customer, to produce the high-quality twisted silk yarn for the cloth. In December 2019, a delegation of five engineers and quality inspectors from the customer visited the plant in Krefeld, Germany, to inspect the machine, measuring 4 m by 8 m and 2 m high.

The ring-twisting machine for sensitive yarns was produced in China. The creel, which is equipped with a large number of sensors for process monitoring, comes from Chemnitz, Germany.

The Saurer GlassTwister is normally intended for the production of glass filament yarns, which are needed for the manufacture of printed circuit boards or batteries for electric cars. For Holy Al Kiswah, Saurer took on the challenge of carefully modifying the glass-twisting machine to meet the specific needs of the customer, enabling them to process pure natural silk of highest quality. 

"We have been a Saurer customer for many years and appreciate their flexibility," emphasise the members of the Holy Al Kiswah delegation. "We have been working with a Saurer Hamel 1000 twisting machine for many years, and now we want to replace it with a more modern machine. We discussed the project with Saurer for the first time at ITMA 2015, and then, after intensive discussions, decided on a modified GlassTwister. We are excited and looking forward to working with the new machine soon," a member of the delegation adds proudly.

The machine will be assembled on site by two Saurer fitters from Krefeld, who will also train the employees of Holy Al Kiswah.

About Holy Al Kiswah

Location Mecca, Saudi Arabia
Year of foundation 1926
Staff 250
Production Silk fabric


  • Silk twisting machinery
  • Warp machinery
  • Weaving machinery
  • Winding machinery
  • Tying machinery
  • Dyeing and bleaching machinery
  • Sewing machinery including one of the largest sewing machines in the world


This article, which appeared in the 01 2020 edition of our "Insight" customer magazine, is available in four languages. Here you can also access the entire magazine.

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