Kharad Rugs- A woven story.
Crafts are among India's oldest, Heritage box brings an art that has been influenced by generations of artists and cultures who migrated during and after the great civilizations of Harappa and Mohenjo-Daro. Pastoral villages had vast herds of camels and other livestock such as goats and lambs. Kharad carpets were originally woven of goat and camel hair wool. The themes on these rugs depict traditional daily life, marriage, harvests, and animals, as well as geometric forms that signify their society.
The goat and camel hair was then given to hand-spinners who specialized in producing wool out of them. The artisans then employed this wool. Craftsmen created Kharad (used for spreading over the floor), Khurjani (used to carry large objects on the back of a camel), and Rasa (thick cloth used to cover grains). They used to sell their wares in the villages of Banni, Pancham, and Sindh. Kharad and Khurjani had regular patrons in Mugdan, a village/town on the Indo-Pak border. Khurjani and other camel-related products were popular in Sindh, where many people owned camels.
Many palaces in Sindh and Gujarat were embellished with the Kharad. Given Kharad's unusual appearance, strength, and longevity, the Kings and ministers were regular patrons. A kharad can easily last a century.The Kharad craft is currently on the decline. Only two of the ten families who practiced this skill until the 1990s remain. All of the others have moved on to other sources of income. Regular orders are similarly difficult to come by for these two artisan families.
There are numerous explanations for this. Local ties have completely disintegrated. Kharad goods are no longer purchased by local communities. The artisans also lost access to the lucrative Sindh market after the partition. The value chain between Maldharis giving wool to spinners, hand-spinning wool, and Kharad artisans using the wool in their manufacture has collapsed. In Kachchh, hand spinning camel and goat hair into wool is no longer practiced.
Heritage box introducing the art that is on the verge of extinction with hope to revive the art. With the same technique and modern fabrication, click here to explore the collection.