The materials are collected, cleaned and washed. They color the materials by using natural dyes from the local Hawaj ( Bahraini herbalist) and combine them in different designs for each basket.
Abbas Al Jamri started basket making as a hobby 25 years ago after retiring. As a child he learned this traditional skill from his parents, who both were basket makers.
His hobby has changed his life and given him the opportunity visit
On a wooden frame nylon thread columns are place as guide threads. Colorful cotton threads on special spools are put through in a zigzag manner, and with a special brush pushed to make sure they are neat and tidy.
The fabric weaving itself is a fast, meticulous and highly precise process that requires a great deal of mental and physical coordination as the weaver uses both his hands and legs and distributes and overlaps the threads into each other in a systematic and coordinated manner.
The weaver can weave from three to five meters a day. Cotton threads, which are predominantly red and black, are used in the process. Also wool and silk threads are used.
A Bahraini weaver would weave many of the men’s garbs, such as azar, ghutar (head dresses), bisht (cloaks) as well as female dresses. The weavers also weave boat sails and mats which are used as carpets.
As a son of a carpet maker Abdulhussain Yousif Mohammed naturally took an interest in and acquire his fathers skills, but with declining business he was forced to take a job to guarantee a regular income.
His love with weaving continued after work and at a friend’s house he continued to refine his skills and interest in building the machines used to weave.
With his son on whom he has passed his wonderful traditional skills he makes carpets and other products after school and work.
More places to buy products
Al Jasra Handicrafts Centre
A vast range of indigenous handicrafts is kept alive and well at this centre.
It has workshops for artisans, including mat weaving, basket making, pottery and boat building.
The enthusiastic staff and craftsmen encourage
visitors to take a close look at how items are made, and offer a full explanation of the technical processes involved.
One highlight is watching the friendly women who come down to the centre daily to weave mats from plain and brightly-coloured dampened palm fronds.
The centre also houses a number of makers of musical instruments, tanners and silk weavers.
Location: Jasra Village, Manama
- Tel: 17 611 900
- Towards the King Fahad Causeway
- Open Sat 9am-4pm; Sun-Thu 7am-2pm
The Craftcentre Manama
Let the Craft Centre's creations take your breath away.
The Craft Centre in Manama, run entirely by Bahraini women, is a favourite with foreign visitors and it is easy to see why. It has some of the most exquisite creations you will find, ranging from jewellery, iron, wood and paper products to embroidered and crocheted goods as well as highly artistic Arabic calligraphy. Perfect place to pick up souvenirs
Al Seef area, Karbabad (17 582 169). Open daily 9am-1pm, 3pm-9pm.
Capital Mall invites Time Out readers for a guided tour and traditional tastings. To book, call Afnan Al Balooshi on 36 305 502
Palm Frond Craft
His father and grandparents were palm frond crafters. Mohamed Hussain Habeeb Al Jabboori from Dar khulaib village and his brother helped since childhood.
The family builds furniture from palm fronds like cradles, cages, chairs, tables, board pergola’s and special custom build designs from customers.
Khubz, is the very cheap traditional Bahraini flatbread baked (30 seconds/1minute) in dome shaped ovens by men. (5 pieces 100 fils)
Khubz reqaq is very thin flatbread baked on a special plate by khubz ladies.
Soft pasty dough is scraped on a hot plate by hand until it dries and lightly browned on one side, and rolled loosely up.
It comes in 2 flavors, sweet which can be eaten with morning tea, or plain.
Plain it is spread with butter and sugar, however its most favored during Ramadan, where it is cut into pieces and covered with savory curry full of vegetables and chicken or meat.
Umm Khalid from Muharraq can supply these fresly made Khubz Reqaq , savoury (sattar) or sweet ( saffron and sugar).