It is a busy time for workers at Saeed el-Khalaan’s wool factory in Egypt’s Daqahliya town. They have been working overtime using disgarded sheepskins for their wool in the weeks before the Eid al-Adha festival.
The festival is celebrated to mark the end of the Haj season. Muslims slaughter sheep, goats and cows to commemorate Prophet Abraham’s willingness to sacrifice his son Ismail on God’s command.
In the lead up to the holiday, factory owner Saeed el-Khalaan factory receives hundreds of discarded sheepskin from all around the country.
“The sheep goes through the process of shearing in several places around Egypt a couple of times a year, this happens and it’s called overall wool, spring wool and summer wool. Shepherds shear sheep for their meat, not the wool, and so we end up with the wool. Only the big companies in Egypt take the wool through traders. The wool comes whole and then it gets separated and then it is divided between two different machines to pick what size we want the thread to come out in,” he said.
The small factory has been around for nearly four decades.
It is one of the few in the country that still makes wool and cotton threading.
“The wool is available all year long, but it increases during Eid al-Adha, because the quantities of available wool are much higher. We hope that our final results whether they are wool or cotton-based products, are made in Egypt and exported abroad” el-Khalaan explained, “It is used for carpet, and now it’s even used in modern technology because it is thermal wool that doesn’t burn. It is also used as linings for thermal ovens, nuclear ovens, and for plenty of other uses,” he added.
Wool products are in high demand, especially in countries with sub-zero temperatures.
Although his business is small, el-Khalaan hopes to expand his business to such countries.