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Namda/Felting of Jammu and Kashmir

Endangered Crafts, Wool, Felt

Namda/Felting of Jammu and Kashmir

Floor coverings other than woollen carpets are known as namdhas and gabbas. Namdhas are made of felt and embroidery and appliqué techniques with dyed wool are used to embellish these. The designs are floral, geometrical, and folksy. This is a cosy and colourful handmade felt rug that makes an excellent and rather inexpensive floor covering in winter. These namdhas are very popular owing to the embroidery on them — chain stitch in woollen yarn is done by hand with a hook or needle. A namdha is supposed to have originated during the 11th century when the great Mughal Emperor, Akbar, was on throne. Namdhas are generally available in 3 x 5 and 6 x 4. Rugs can also be made to order. Gabbas are floor coverings made out of old blankets. Appliqué work is often done on it. The colours used are muted, though warm tints are used. Gabbas are popularly known as poor men’s carpet and are rated as a common utility article by all classes of people. Creative genius has evolved it into an artistic substitute for more expensive carpets. Druggets are made from cotton and woollen waste. The same carpet designs are used as they are made by the same weavers. Hook-rugs are also establishing themselves in India.

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