Namda craft is being revived by the central government and a special project has been launched by the Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship for the same.
Namda is a rug made of sheep wool. The craft, using felting technique instead of normal weaving process, predominantly is used to make floor pieces, mattresses and bed covers.
Each Kashmiri household, rich or poor, basically has a culture of sitting on the floor which becomes extremely cold in winter. This is why Namda craft wasdeveloped in Kashmir.
Making of Namda
Wool is spread in a thick layer of grass or jute mat which is then rolled tightly. The rolled mat thereafter gets tied up with a rope which is then compressed by rolling to and fro on the floor. Using hands and legs, the rolling is done which goes for an hour.
During rolling, the fibre fuses together, the rope is then untied and the mat is unrolled to make a well-shaped Namda. The plain Namda is then hand embroidered.
Why was the pilot project launched?
The export of Namda craft has reduced by 100% between 1998 and 2008 due to lack of skilled manpower and low availability of raw material.
The Namda market basically is located in Baramulla, Rainwari and Anantnag areas of Kashmir. Europe and Japan are attractive export destinations of Namda. Namda also finds its manufacturing in Tonk in Rajasthan.