In the past, dhurrie, also called durrie or durry, served various purposes. It was laid on a bed as a blanket, placed on a wall, table or used for meditation. It wasn’t until the middle of the 20th century when durries started to be considered as marvellous and precious carpets. Early durries’ designs were rather ordinary since the aesthetic function wasn’t of grave concern then. The situation changed after the Partition of India. The inhabitants of certain areas of India moved to Panipat, the’Textile City’, where the ancestral craft of weaving started to flourish.
The materials from which durries are made are natural, thus environment-friendly (usually cotton, jute, wool and silk). What is more, they are hand spun and hand-dyed. The technique of making Indian rugs is worth mentioning. They are hand-woven in pit-looms where skilled artisans work hard all day.
Dhurrie rugs have different sizes, thus they can be used even as a cover for a vase or a telephone stand. 12″ by 12″ is the smallest dhurrie while the largest may reach up to 20″ by 20″. The latter ones are useful during social or political meetings. As far as the design is concerned, durries are remarkably colourful. Stripes, geometrical patterns, fundamental Islamic images (for instance minarets) are some of the common dhurrie motifs.
Certain types of dhurries can be distinguished. Women living in the villages near Panipat are known for their traditional handiwork Panja dhurries. An interesting detail is that this kind of rugs is in some regions a part of a dowry for a daughter when she gets married. The hand-loom dhurries can be described as more modern, thicker and with bolder patterns. The other types are Chindi dhurrie, which is fairly new, and designer dhurrie.
Nowadays dhurrie rugs are quite popular all over the world. The combination of patterns, colours and motifs are still being improved which makes dhurries the ideal rugs for any interior. In some areas of India they are manufactured faster thus can be sold on larger scale and for lower prices.