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Hand-spinning of Ladakh

Textiles, Weaving, Spinning, Khadi

Hand-spinning of Ladakh

Hand – spinning is the twisting of fibers into yarn by hands. This spinning of yarns is done manually in every household of Ladakh. Both men and women contribute to this craft. Phang is a spindle, made of willow, used by women to spin a soft yarn such as pashmina and sheep wool. It is supported by an apricot kernel. This requires phang to be kept on a surface to give it a support while spinning. The drop spindle used by men is referred to as ‘haa’ which is used to spin coarser goat hair called rall. The type of spindle used by men allows them to spin while they walk or do other activities while women sit and spin at a place while having conversations. The inner coat of Changra goat offers extremely soft pashmina wool which is found in the Changtang region. This highly valued pashmina wool is sold to Kashmiri shawl industry. Garments are made from this wool to beat the cold. Nowadays the Ladakhi craftsmen are also engaged in making vast variety of other products such as pile rugs, footwear, yarn, shawls, blankets, saddlebag, slings, rugs and tents. The strap of the sling is braided with yak hair and sheep wool by men. Basic tools required are phang, ha, tal /special comb and some hand cards.

Products ranging from pile rugs, garments, footwear, yarn, shawls, blankets, saddlebag, slings, rugs and tents are handcrafted under this craft. Tools required for the process are phang/spindle used by women, haa/spindle used by men, hand cards, tal/special comb etc..

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