The Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship (MSDE) has launched a pilot project to revive and promote the traditional Namda craft in Jammu and Kashmir. The objective of the project is to boost and preserve this unique craft in Kashmir.
Key Features of Pilot Project for Namda Craft
• The project was launched under the Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana (PMKVY) 3.0.
• It is to be implemented in twenty five batches. These 25 batches are to be trained in three cycles. Each training cycle will run for three and a half month.
• The project will benefit 2,250 people of Kashmir.
What is Namda craft?
• Namda craft is a rug made of sheep wool through felting technique instead of normal weaving process.
• Namda craft is predominantly used to make floor pieces. It is also used to make mattresses and bed covers.
• Every Kashmiri household, rich or poor, has a culture of sitting on the floor. And the floor becomes extremely cold in winter. This is why Namda craft developed in Kashmir.
Making of Namda
Wool is evenly spread in a thick layer of grass or jute mat. The mat is then rolled tightly. The rolled mat is then tied up with a rope. It is then compressed by rolling to and fro on the floor. The rolling is done by using hands and legs and goes for an hour. During rolling, the fibre fuses together. The rope is then untied and the mat is unrolled. And the well-shaped Namda is made. The plain Namda is then hand embroidered. For a patterned Namda, the craftsmen felt in the design into the Namda fibre itself.
Why was the pilot project launched?
Due to lack of skilled manpower and low availability of raw material, the export of Namda craft has reduced by 100% between 1998 and 2008.
The Namda market is primarily located in Baramulla, Rainwari and Anantnag areas of Kashmir. Europe and Japan are the most attractive export destinations of Namda. Namda is also made in Tonk in Rajasthan.