RIYADH: The ancient craft of leather manufacturing in Najran continues to be an integral part of the local culture and economy.
A person who engages in leather manufacturing in Najran is referred to as Al-Kharraz. Using the skin of cows, camels, sheep and goats, after coloring and preparation, he skillfully produces various items.
His work includes the Mayzab, a triangular box with a base of wood or palm branches, and two solid straps. These are used by mothers to carry their infant children. They are one of Najran’s most-expensive handicrafts.
Another is the Al-Misbat, a wide leather belt with up to 100 holes for ammunition. It includes a small bag for personal items, which is worn with a shoulder strap.
The Al-Masab is a small leather bag carried on the shoulder with a long strap. It is used for carrying food and personal items, and is popular with young children.
Also produced is the Al-Zamala, a rectangular or box-shaped bag used for carrying goods. It is made of camel or synthetic leather, with two short straps. There are often decorations on its sides with black or brown leather weaving.
Another product is the Al-Rahout, which is made of sheep fur and used for bedding. It comprises square or rectangular pieces sewn together using threads, surrounded by a thin leather or cloth frame.
In addition, there is the Al-Assem, a small leather pouch that can be sealed using a strap. A smaller version, called Al-Qatf, is used to store coffee.