A Dhurrie is a thin woven rug similar to carpets, widely used as floor coverings. Their application can also be found in the bottom linings of bed covers and packaging items. This weaving technique is believed to have been brought to India by artisans from the Mughal Empire. Later it marked its place at London’s Crystal Palace in 1851 and also at an International Exhibition held at Delhi in 1905. As a result, the Maharaja of Jaipur Swami Ram Singh II, impressed by the simple yet attractive work, introduced Dhurrie weaving as a part-time job for the prisoners in the local jails. With technological advancement in weaving techniques, Dhurrie also evolved and grew with mechanized processes, giving intricate designs and colours. During 1947, when the partition took place, artisans from Jhang and Multan relocated to Panipat areas, taking the ancestral craft along with them. This lead to heightened awareness about the craft and hence significant developments. Now each region houses its distinctive Dhurrie creations with varied patterns and colour combinations. For example, Dhurries of Darjeeling largely hold Tibetan designs featuring dragons and cloud motifs. Dhurries are fashioned in vibrant hues in the south, while the most elegant variety is from Navalgund, a small town of Karnataka. It is also manufactured in Nagpur, Maharashtra. Mr. Abdul Ansari is having a manufacturing unit of Dhurrie weaving. These Dhurries are mostly woven in cotton fibers, which makes the product more absorbent, soft and enables easy dyeing. The Dhurries are divided into four types: Panja Dhurrie, Handloom Dhurrie, Chindi Dhurrie, and Designer Dhurrie.
It is a traditional form of Dhurries, mostly woven by women from the villages of Rajasthan. These Dhurries are created with the help of a metal fork named “Panja” that has many prongs or claws attached. Here a skilled artisan takes a certain set of threads on the warp and interlaces the thread strands to form a weft, pushing this firmly into right knots using the Panja. These types of Dhurries are made of wool or cotton, or sometimes a combination of both.
Here handloom machine is used for the Dhurrie weaving, hence its name. Compared to other forms, this type holds bolder designs and is thicker in size. During the making, the weaver coils the threads of the weft on a shuttle and then slides this through the warp to make the indented fabric. Cotton and wool fiber is usually used for Handloom Dhurrie, though jute fibers are also incorporated at times.
This is the relatively latest type of Dhurrie, made out of small strips of scrap cotton or silk fabrics. These cloth strips act as wefts during the weaving process. Here the horizontal looms used comprises wooden beams on which the warp threads are tied for the right kind of interlocking. Also known as rag rugs, the Chindi Dhurries are commonly used for home décor, especially in the prayer rooms.
Designer Dhurries are modern style Dhurries, beautifully fashioned out of cotton, wool, or silk. The type is much cheaper than carpets, yet lightweight and versatile, hence they are mainly used for interior decorations and home decors. The most distinctive feature of designer Dhurrie is that they are durable, washable, and most importantly reversible, i.e., two in one pattern that enables both side usage.