Thursday, 31 July 2008
From the early eighteenth century to the beginning of the twentieth, Chamba and its neighbouring hill states such as Kangra and Basohli, formed the nucleus of rumal production, which was embroidery work on thin unbleached muslin ( malmal) of great charm and simplicity. Rumal means cover or Kerchief, and these square shaped textiles were used mainly as a covering for gifts. When an offering was made to temple gods or gifts exchanged between the families of bride and grooms, an embroidered rumal was always used as wrappings. Chamba rumals were also used in temples as a backdrop to , or canopy for deity.
Motif generally comprises of a floral border whcih enclosed a finely drawn religious scene set against a clear, unembellished and unembroidered background. The designs were initially drawn out in Charcoal and featured scenes from Krishna's life and other mythological episodes, which were surrounded by clusters of willow and cypress trees and running animals such as tigers, horse and deer.
Chamba rumals were embroidered in silks of soft colours, using a double darning stitch, so that an identical design appeared evenly on both sides of the cloth, and double running stitch was used for outlines and details.