Grab A Rug: The Namda From Kashmir

Everyone loves and many claim it as their own, Kashmir, with its unsurpassed beauty and highly cultured people who create intricate crafts, make a poet in one and all. A little-known art of Kashmir, there no or sheep wool felt carpet, is slowly gathering title. In Kashmiri life, a no is the top layer gabbaa daily rug made of old sheets, and both items are an integral part of every home.

There is no receipt involved in making one no; instead, there is a lot of entanglement, washing, pressure, and embroidery. The wool is first washed in soapy water so that the fibers will teach each other well. This wool is spread in layers on a level floor, soaked with water once more, and then pressed pinjara. This can be a large hand held fork, flattening device or a grass or jute mat, which is rolled, tied, and set aside until the wool is dry. The skill no-made is transmitted in families that have been in the trade for generations. There no is decorated in two ways. It is either embroidered on or has a felt-on-belt pattern. For the needle-work version, the yarn is hand-dyed by meter by meter, meter by meter. After that, the women of the house go in to gather the yarn for use. Kashmiri aari Embroidery techniques are used to create complex floral patterns typical of the region. Not embroidered but patterned no is made using dyed wool, which is put by hand, in design, on the basis of bleached or unbleached wool, and the process of moistening, flattening, and drying is done all over again. Wool takes on a different texture when it is felted. It is softer and, therefore, more malleable, but it can also break down if it bends sharply, pulls in, etc.

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The nomadic tribes of the steppes of Central Asia invented the felting technique. Even today, felted rugs are part of the culture of countries such as Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, parts of Pakistan, and even Turkey. In India, there no took off during the time of the Mughal emperor Akbar. It is said that he was so impressed by a man named Nubi, who gave Akbar, a no to protect his horse from the cold given by the emperor no-Making large landslides.

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Today, though the art of no– iron was also used to make jackets, beds, and shoes inside the house, the craftsmen did not get out of their heads. Resistance to new techniques and technology, lack of wool carding machines, largely ineffective, and traditional marketing no– make families move away from the craft due to the lack of economic stability led to the slow down of the resurgence no. Recently, the government, through the Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship (MSDE), started a pilot project to promote and propagate the craft. The initiative is expected to benefit about 2,250 artisans in the 30s no clusters from six districts of Kashmir. Artisans will undergo industry-based training programs and exposure to international markets.

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