Surif Women's Cooperative
Surif village, Hebron, West Bank | Telefax: (+972) 02-252-3049 

Products: Embroidered cushions, table linens, ornaments, clergy stoles
Beneficiaries: 400 women from Surif village

The village of Surif (pop. 15,000) is located alongside the Green Line (1949 Armistice Line separating West Bank and Israel), in a beautiful hilly region between Bethlehem and Hebron.  About a half of the village population is refugees from the 1948 war, who fled their homeland that later became a part of the State of Israel.

In 1950, a group of Mennonite volunteers came to the village to establish the Palestinian Needlework Program, in order to give the refugee women an opportunity to supplement their family income and to enhance their own self-reliance through empowerment.  In 1979, the village women took over the responsibilities to run the project, which, after a period of intensive training, was reborn as Surif Women's Cooperative, in 1983. 

Surif's crafts are known for their distinct style, using cream-colored cotton fabric instead of the common black fabric.  The fabric they use is made in the Old City of Jerusalem, woven on an antique handloom by Adnan Fares, a weaver that carries on the centuries- old tradition.   The embroidery patterns are produced by a system of counting threads, a method that gives the embroidery its striking and exact appearance on both sides of the fabric.  Surif's designs are adapted from traditional Palestinian dresses and reflect the heritage from different regions of Palestine.