What is the first thing you notice while entering a place? Some of you might notice the walls, some notice the decorative items but most of the people automatically notice the flooring. A grandiose carpet in your reception area is the surest way to make a strong first impression on your customers. Carpets not only serve the purpose of acting as a shield to your floors, but also provide the ambience and enhance the enchantment quotient of the place. Dhurries can be categorized as a variation of the carpet, with the main difference being that they are usually smaller in size and used for the purpose of meditation which is practiced in a large numbers these days. Manufactured in a variety of designs, these rugs can be spotted easily in most Indian households.
Rajasthan is the home for a variety of handicrafts produced in our country. One of the lesser known places but no less important in terms of the value it adds to the rich heritage of the state is Bagru. Located on the Jaipur-Ajmer highway, at a distance of only 35 km from the Pink City itself, this place produces some impeccable wooden block prints which are considered as some of the best and elaborate hand-block printing works in the country. The beauty of this art form lies in the process itself as the preferred designs are first carved out on a wooden block and then used for further replication on any preferred fabric. The tradition of this craft is kept alive by native artisans, which makes Bagru a perfect tourist destination for connoisseurs of hand-block fabric printing.
Cotton Khaddi Carpet
Khadi has an iconic status in India because of its association with the father of our nation “M K Gandhi” and his Swadeshi movement. Khadi fabrics are hand-spun and handwoven from cotton fiber but it is not limited just to it. Contrary to popular belief, khadi silk and woolen khadi are also manufactured from silk and wool respectively. The beauty of khadi lies in the fact that it can be worn during both summers and winters throughout the country. Cotton Khadi is prominently manufactured by weavers from Rampur, a small town in UP. These weavers specialize in making carpets or doormats from any kind of discarded clothes and create durable, hand-woven khadi carpets.
Jodhpuri Cotton Dhurry
There are only very few cities in India which can boast of a constant influx of tourists from around the globe throughout the year. Jodhpur is certainly one of those select few cities which can boast of this honor even though it neither has any mountains nor seas. What makes Jodhpur such a popular place is not only its palaces and lakes but also a niche group of handicrafts which are crafted locally by the artisans there. The famous cotton dhurries from Jodhpur knotted with exquisite and colorful geometric patterns is one such commodity. Although similar to a rug or carpet, dhurries are most commonly used for meditation and religious purposes which makes it ubiquitous in most of the Indian households.
Kharad dhurry is one of the rapidly eroding art form in India and that is exactly what makes it very, very special. This type of dhurry is made from a sheep or camel’s natural wool and then woven by hand on handloom. This technique is quite complex as it requires the weaving to be done with the help of two sticks working as a loom. It is a dying art and only a handful of families from Kutch in Gujarat (18 families to be precise) are left doing this kind of weaving. Kharad dhurries provide an exquisite, super exclusive and unique décor to one’s bedrooms and living rooms.
As is the story with most of the crafts, Zari or Zardozi embroidery also got its name from a village by the same name in ancient Persia. Zari has always been associated with the affluent sections of the society in India and globally as well because it requires weaving thin threads of gold and silver onto fine fabrics of silk. The result of this intricate piece of designing is so exquisite that it completely justifies its monetary worth. Mughal Emperor Akbar can be credited for bringing a revolution in the emergence of Zari as one of the most sought after crafts and for developing areas around Agra and Lucknow as major clusters for this craft. As the impact of Royal patronage waned in our society, the gold and silver were replaced with gold or silver-plated polyester and cotton yarns or slightly costlier copper threads. Lucknow, owing to its Nawabi heritage, still continues to be the biggest market for Zari and Zardozi embroidery.