Idna Ladies’ Association: Started in 1998, this group is located in the village of Idna, southwest of Hebron. The village is quite isolated and suffers not only from frequent Israeli blockades of major roads, but also from the construction of the Separation Wall.
Embroidery is done by 50 women, 4 do the sewing and there are 4 paid staff at the centre. The Association has a savings scheme allowing any member to borrow money for a particularly pressing need. Benefiting from the help of a Japanese designer and sewing instructor, the products evince highest quality in design, embroidery and sewing. Shoulder bags and backpacks are very popular, and their unique thistle design coasters were designed by Joan Musgrave for the Scottish market.
The women learned skills in product design, sewing, quality control, inventory, and financial management, in order to provide a much-needed income-generation opportunity to the village women.
Today, the Association has grown from a humble room to a workshop equipped with machineries and worktables. Many of the women are the family breadwinners that made possible for their daughters to receive college education, an opportunity that was not afforded to themselves.
Idna’s products are known for incorporating the beauty of Palestinian embroidery in modernday, pratical items, like backpacks, tote bags, and coin purses. They are made with impeccable sewing and embroidery skills that women have honed over years.
A Palcrafts grant in 2007 enabled 3 women to study English and acquire computer skills but this is a very proud, independent group of women who have not asked for other grants.