Chamba Rumal – A Needle Wonder

The little known story of unique handkerchiefs

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The culture, tradition, and custom of any place are well known by the handicrafts it prepares. Handicrafts are often allied with the lifestyle and history of any particular region. Also, they provide ample employment opportunities for the locals and help them in their earnings.

Embroidery is an old art form originating in Chamba State as it houses highly skilled craftsmen and Chamba Rumal is one of them. Since Chamba is famous for the Pahari and Kangra styles of miniature paintings. The same style is used for the painting and is traced on these Rumals (handkerchief). The different types of cloths used for embroidery include fine cotton, silk, muslin or Khaddar depending on the product to be created. Earlier charcoal was being used for tracing the outlines but now oil method is used. The paintings of different gods are crafted on these rumals like Lord Krishna & Radha, Brahma, Vishnu, and Mahesh respectively. While other includes the motifs of animals, birds, trees etc.

Rumal Embroidery holds a significant place in weddings and festivals as a mark of goodwill and warmth. Most of the Rumals have floral patterns and the use of bright colors is done to make it even more attractive.

An enormous scope is there to combine tourism with handicrafts so as to drive the local economy. Local handicrafts hence should be made more noticeable and accessible to the tourists.

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