Traditional Wear

Middle East and Africa


The success story of Swiss ghutras: A reputation for quality that spans decades

The success story of Swiss ghutras began over 50 years ago in the Swiss textile industry, and continues to this day. The term "ghutra" refers to a traditional headdress worn by Arab men. The voile fabric used to produce these traditional head coverings must fulfil certain essential quality criteria: A high degree of whiteness, perfectly straight fibres, a large-scale moiré pattern, and a long-lasting crisp feel that will withstand extreme weather conditions. AG Cilander focussed all its efforts on developing finishing processes that would perfect these features and, as a result, has made a name for itself as the finishing provider for high-quality ghutra voile in the Middle East.

At the time, in Switzerland, there were still spinning mills, doubling mills and weaving mills in operation; together with AG Cilander as a finishing specialist, these mills formed almost the entire value creation chain for a high-grade Swiss-quality textile product. Collaborative projects between Swiss and Arabic companies resulted in factories being established in Switzerland that would cover the parts of the value creation chain that had previously not been included. This means that the products offered were 100% made in Switzerland to top quality standards. Since then, almost all the workshops that were involved in starting this success story have ceased to exist. AG Cilander, as a textiles finisher, is the only company to have withstood the crisis in the eastern part of the Swiss textiles industry.

The Swiss ghutra – or "swissri" as it is known in Arabic – continues to be synonymous with top quality and is in high demand in the high-priced segment.

Products for the "Traditional Wear" sector are finished at Cilander using the following processes