Historically, the Kufiya is an Arabic piece of clothing that protects from sand, sun, and wind. The first colours to be produced were the Kufiyas that had black or red stitches on white fabric. These two Kufiyas have come to be associated with Palestine and is worn by people worldwide in solidarity with the Palestinian struggle against oppression and fight for equality and justice. It became symbolic in the 1930s, when the black and white Kufiya was worn by people throughout Palestinian society in order to make themselves less distinguishable to their British colonisers at the time. Today, its purpose remains steadfastly similar, and is worn to show resolve for the Palestinians right to self-determination. Historically, the red and white Kufiya has been worn throughout the Levantine region. In Jordan in particular, it is donned by the royals during public occasions. Although the red and white Kufiya -given its red stitches- has become popular among left wing activists, it is also worn in solidarity with the Palestinians in general.
During the 90’s the Kufiya became popular in the West which triggered Chinese manufacturers to step in. The small scale factories in Palestine could not compete with the mass production in China. Chinese production did not only dominate the Kufiya market outside Palestine, but also in the country. In 1995 the last factory in Palestine closed its doors and it seemed that one of the founding countries of the Kufiya had lost its production. However, the factory that closed its doors in 1995 decided to reopen in 2000 with a plan. This plan was not to modernise through new machines as there was no money for that, but by creating new Kufiya models with different colours than the original two. These models of neutral character suits each fashion style. Today, the factory continues the small scale production of Kufiyas. Working with these machines requires true craftsmanship creating unique products. As the production of the original Kufiya’s is small scale, it is very hard to get these original ones, even in Palestine.