Sidreh - Lakiya Negev Weaving Project is located in the Negev desert in Israel. The Bedouin women of Israel use their traditional skills to be wage earners, role models, artisans, obtain literacy and business training through their rugs, pillows and wall hangings. Lakiya sisters Khadra and Hanan Elsana organized Sidreh, named for a tough desert tree in 1991.They weave and spin using the fleece from their Awasi sheep, goats and camels. No children work in the process.
The Lakiya Negev Weaving project empowers women through the income generated from creating high quality rugs and home accessories. A four plus yard strip of carpet can take about a week to weave. It is the main source of income for 70 families.
The process is divided into six groups. The groups start with the spinners using traditional spindles. The next group prepares the wool for dyeing by putting the yarn into skeins. The third group runs the dyeing process. The fourth group plies the yarn on the traditional spindle. The fifth group weave using the traditional, home-made ground-looms of their Bedouin culture. This last group runs the quality control, finishing by sewing, adding tassels and cleaning the finished item.
In the generation since this project has been up and running, these women "now feel comfortable leaving the house. Over time, their fathers and husbands grew to accept that the women could go outside the village for work, and even drive cars. Their daughters have started going to college, thanks to the small amounts of money the mothers make from the weaving initiative and thanks to special programs created for them at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev." ~ Lakiya project
Enjoy the video and see how they spin, weave and the tools they use. A little yarn can go a long way to empowering women.