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India Mart

Work is required on a number of fronts in order to bring this art back to life.

Namda is believed to have originated around the 11th century, under the reign of Akbar, the great Mughal emperor. According to historical records, Akbar directed to provide an appropriate covering for his horse, who was suffering from severe cold. As a response, an elderly man rose to his feet and stated his thoughts. His name was Nubi; he used to stitch multicolored and exquisite patterns into wool. Therefore, he offered his felting services to the emperor and as a result, wool felting was born and since then has developed into a world-class craft form that continues to astound people to this day. The skill of Namda manufacturing, was introduced to Kashmir by the Sufi saint Shah- e- Hamdan, who came with the noble purpose of providing a source of income for the Kashmiris. Namda making is still a source of income for a large portion of Kashmir's population.

a mat on grass Namda making is still a source of income for a large portion of Kashmir's population. | India Mart



Namda is produced by felting sheep wool rather than weaving it, which is what, makes it unique. On a grassor a jute mat, the wool is spread and then soapy water is sprinkled evenly over it. The mat is then firmly wrapped and secured with a rope, then pressed by rolling back and forth on the floor with the help of hands and feet. For about an hour, this procedure is continued as it allows the fiber of the layers to firmly stick together. After that, the rope is loosened and the mat is unrolled to reveal the beautiful Namda. This simple Namda is then embroidered with the stunning Kashmiri Aari Embroidery to complete the look. The Namda market in Kashmir is mainly concentrated in the downtown regions of Shehr-e-khaas, Anantnag, Rainawari, and Baramulla, as well as other nearby places.

Types of Namda:

  • Plain Namda: It is a kind of simple mat that is not decorated with any type of embroidery work.
  • Embroidered namda: These are the kinds that are decorated. Ari work is done on a simple namda with various colors to make it appear attractive and appealing.
  • Cut work namda: In this technique, trimmed pieces are arranged according to the pattern while layers are created to produce the best namda.

namda with white base The Namda market in Kashmir is mainly concentrated in the downtown regions of Shehr-e-khaas, Anantnag, Rainawari, and Baramulla, as well as other nearby places. | India Mart


Namda-making has turned into a part-time occupation in recent years. Work is required on a number of fronts in order to bring this art back to life. When it comes to the sales, its exports have seen a steep decrease, dropping by almost 100 percent between 1998 and 2008.

Don't forget to read about the Unique Handicrafts of Kashmir by clicking HERE.


Keywords: handicrafts, kashmir, wool, sheep, felting, namda, rug

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