CHAIN STITCHING

Chain Stitch - Natively known as "Jalakdozi", chain stitch rugs are the speciality of Kashmir. These rugs are made on "hessain cloth" or handmade cotton cloth, in continued stitch with superior woolen or silken yarn, with the help of a hook type tool natively called "Aurah". The designs range from floral patterns to animal and human forms traced by a designer, while the craftsman embroiders in two-ply or three ply woollen/silken yarn. The rug looks like a carpet in which the pile is substituted by the texture.

Chain stitch rugs is used both as floor covering and wall hanging. The rug is supported with cloth-lining to add to the durability. It comes in sizes 2x3, 3x5, 6x4, 6x9 and 9x12 feet. Chain stitch is done with a hook in long flowing designs. The embroidery is done all over a Hessian or hand woven cloth base. Chain stitch rugs are used both as floor covering and wall hanging. The rug is supported with cloth-lining to add the durability.

Chain stitch, be it in wool, silk or cotton, is done by hook rather than by needle. The hook is referred to as "aari", and while maintaining the same quality, hook work covers a much larger area than needle work in the same amount of time. All the embroidery is executed on white cotton fabric, pre-shrunk by the manufacturers. The intrinsic worth of each piece lies in the sizes of the stitches and the yarn used. Tiny stitches are used to cover the entire area - the figures or motifs are worked in striking colours; the background in a single colour, made up of a series of coin sized concentric circles which impart dynamism and a sense of movement to the design. Stitches ought to be small, even sized and neat. The background fabric should not be visible through the stitches.

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