The piece of tanned leather is estimated to be 150 years old and has been passed down through Satarah Al Harisi’s family.
It was originally used on the roof of the family house, protecting it from the elements, but is now being kept as a family heirloom. She noted that the sheet is made of 28 pieces of sheepskin.
She said: “Women in the past used to make this piece of sheepskin. After skinning it, they tanned the leather, prepared it and made it into ingots. They were balanced and equal to each other, and then they connected them in a special way to sew them. This process is tiring and stressful, and may take from six months to one year, depending on the woman’s time and effort.
“I was offered an amount of 50,000 riyals (US$13,332) to sell it during my participation in the international exhibition in Riyadh, and I refused to sell it. I am keeping it because of its benefit in gaining the experience that our mothers enjoyed at that time. It is a precious item for me, and I inherited it from my mother, who inherited it from my grandmother, and I do regular maintenance on it using special soil extracted from the ground to preserve it, so that it maintains its properties and time does not cause the leather to harden, break down and lose its value.”