Lebanese designer build’s world’s first bulletproof headscarf
Celebratory gunfire is an unchecked crime in many countries including Lebanon. While hundreds of people become victim to this problem each year, countries are not ready to take this problem seriously. Thankful, one designer based out of Beirut has addressed the issue in his own creative way. The designer called Salim al-Kadi has developed a headscarf (keffiyeh locally) using Kevlar, a material used in bulletproof clothing and vehicles. Dubbed the K29 Keffiyeh 001, this new invention by Kadi is billed as the first bulletproof headscarf ever made.
Revealed at the Beirut Design Week, the bulletproof keffiyeh measure 120 by 120 cm and is embroidered with Kevlar. The gender-neutral scarf is worn in most parts of the Middle East as protection from sun and sand, and has lately become a fashion product amid celebrities.
Transporting Kevlar into Lebanon without government permission is illegal, but Kadi managed to smuggle material into the country and got a woman living in Ain al-Hilweh – a Palestinian refugee camp to weave it in a traditional crisscross pattern to form a keffiyeh. It took the woman about two weeks to complete the scarf.
To stop a bullet from piercing into the head, Kevlar would be required to cover the head in nine layers. Kadi says in a way the scarf is wrapped around the head, this is possible.
Talking about his bulletproof keffiyeh and the complexity in taming Kevlar to make it, Kadi says,
The Kevlar is quite stiff in comparison to cotton, but the more it is worn, the suppler it becomes. Wearing it feels like wearing a motorcycle helmet, without the extra weight.
Kadi has designed the bulletproof keffiyeh for anyone who could be potential victim to the stray bullets shot in celebratory gunfire. Kadi hopes to mass produce these and make them available for a very affordable price.