Durries are flat woven rugs or carpets used traditionally in India as floor-coverings.
In recent years there has been a growing demand for durries both in India and abroad. The durry is a cotton spread without piles, which traditionally comes in two varieties: one that is used on the bed instead of a mattress or below a thin cotton mattress and the other which is used as a floor covering. The former variety is smaller in size and is made on a pit-loom while the latter is made on an elementary loom called an adda.The technique of durry weaving can be seen in its most primitive form in the villages of Rajasthan, Punjab and Haryana where girls are normally put to the task at an early age so that they can prepare rugs that will form part of their trousseau. In contrast, girls in Navalgund, a village in Karnataka that produces a small number of unusual durries, are never taught the craft lest they spread the skill outside the family after marriage. Durries come in numerous designs although the most common are stripes of different colours and geometrical designs. Sometimes animal and bird motifs are also used. Fine durries in brilliant colours made of cotton and silk have become a speciality of Salem (Tamil Nadu) while those made of jute fibre are woven in West Bengal.
The modern Indian housewife often tends to prefer durries to carpets. Durries are lighter and easier to maintain and can usually be washed at home. They are suitable for a hot and dusty environment and being less expensive they can be replaced every few years. This does not mean that durries are not long lasting. People even have durries that have lasted for about twenty years and in spite of several washes still look good.
They have variety of use depending on size,pattern and material.The smallest one is 12″ by 12″ and is used as base cover for telephone stands and flower vases.The ideal size for doing meditation is 24″ by 24″ known as aasan.
The durries used in large political or social gatherings are as big as 20 feet by 20 feet.The durries are easily portable being light in weight and can be folded.They come in variety of color combination and patterns catering to the needs of every taste and occasions.
The durrries have low cost of maintenance as they do not get infected by Silverfish or other bugs responsible for destroying carpets.
Durries can be used for whole year,a cotton durry is warm in winters and cool in summers
In Rajasthan pit looms are also used for weaving in which weaver sits in a pit and feet are used in weaving.The maximum breadth is 24″.
Madhya Pradesh durries are known for their sturdy character and delightful colours. Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Punjab and Himachal Pradesh,make distinctive type of durries.In some part of these states the durries make a part of dowry given at the time of daughters marriage.
About one million people are directly or indirectly involved in durrieis weaving cottage industry.Pearl Sansthan is marketing durries.
Me and my wife Pushpa Goyal runs this NGO to generate rural employment and promote artisans.