An Indonesian entrepreneur is stitching magnets into the headscarves worn by Muslim women, aiming to cure ailments ranging from headaches to fatigue.
Herawati Widodo churns out "healthy" hijabs, or headscarves, from her factory in Central Java, exporting them to Malaysia, Singapore and the Middle East.
Widodo came up with the idea after reading research that said magnetic devices could reduce body aches and boost blood flow.
Although there is no direct medical evidence, the scarves are selling very well, especially during the fasting month of Ramadan when many Muslims become more observant of Islamic rites.
"We created this magnetic hijab for Ramadan last year. We wanted to create a headcover that is not only a nice accessory but also a healthy option," Widodo told Reuters.
"We have 21 models of headcovers and produce more than 2,000 pieces a month," she said. On average, more than 3,000 pieces are sold in Ramadan, with some models already out of stock.
The scarves are priced at between 60,000 to 150,000 rupiah ($6 to $15), and some customers have found them beneficial.
"I suffer from migraine headaches and it has stopped since I wore this," said Ari Istiani, buying her fourth magnetic scarf.
A religious hijab is a single piece of cloth looped around the head, neck and chest, which is then tucked or pinned with the aim of preserving a woman's modesty.
The headcovering has become more widespread among young women in Indonesia, the world's most populous Muslim nation.
ReutersLast Mod: 15 Eylül 2009, 12:58