Thursday, 31 July 2008

Chamba Rumal

Chamba Rumal

Chamba Rumal is the embroidery work on a square format. The size can be as small as a handkerchief to as large as bed sheets. 

Fabric chosen is either Khaddar or Malmal. 

The figures are filled with untwisted silk floss which is also know as pat. 

This is also called Chamba Kashidakari or "Do-Rukha" embroidery. 

Chamba Rumals are embroidered with the technique of double satin stitch known as "Do-Rukha Tanka". The stitch is carried forward and backward alternately and both sides of the cloth are stiched simultaneously so that the space on both sides look equally effective and identical in content.

The outline is marked in danditanka a stem stich or chain stitch with knot after each stitch. 

No chamba rumal is done in single color. 

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 are initially drawn out in Charcoal and featured scenes from Krishna's life and other mythological episodes, which are surrounded by clusters of willow and cypress trees and running animals such as tigers, horse and deer.

Chamba rumals are embroidered in silks of soft colours, using a double darning or double satin stitch stitch, so that an identical design appeared evenly on both sides of the cloth, and double running stitch  or danditanka is used for outlines and details.

An excellent article on the process is found here. 

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