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About Moppet Wall Hangings

Artisan hand-embroidering children’s crewel wall-hanging rug tapestries for moppet

Provenance

Moppet wall hangings combine ancient craft and folk art design with a contemporary sensibility to colour and materials. Traditional illustrations are brought to life in a variety of modern colour palettes, created by Moppet, using a local crewel chainstitch (Zalakdozi) technique which has been practised in the Valley of Kashmir for hundreds of years. Our carefully selected craftsmen and women* belong to rural farming communities and embroider predominately during the winter months as their second form of income. Moppet’s materials are sustainably sourced and our pieces are ethically produced in the homes of the artisans who create them, around their own schedules and childcare needs.

Process

Each of our wall hangings passes through many skilled hands as part of the creation process, engaging a different set of expertise at each stage. First, the Naquash (draftsman) interprets our designs using a stencilling process, in which illustrations are traced onto translucent paper and outlined using pin-prick holes. This sheet is then laid onto the Dasooti (cotton canvas) and dusted with pigment which permeates the holes, creating a stencilled pattern for the embroiderer to follow. Our bespoke colour palettes are created using natural pigments to hand dye hanks of woollen yarn. These are distributed through the embroidering community along with our stencilled fabrics. Next, the Zalakdooz (embroiderer), will set to work in his or her home, using a hook-shaped Aari needle and adopting the traditional seated Zangvaitth posture with knees up and back against a firm cushion or wall for support. Finally, the completed pieces are collected from the villages and each washed by hand and dried under the warmth of the sun.

History

Crewel embroidery was first brought to Kashmir from Persia and has long since become a signature craft of the area, creating much skilled employment to this day. The local term for Kashmiri embroidery is Kashida-kari, which is derived from the Persian word for free-flowing writing. Kashmir’s embroidery traditions evolved under the patronage of Mughal emperors in the 16th century, when the local textile industry boomed and its pieces gained popularity around the world. As a result, Kashmir embroidery has traditionally served a more decorative purpose than some of its more functional counterparts, and Kashmiri textiles have adorned the walls and floors of Indian royalty for many generations. Traditionally only men were involved in the process and the art was inherited by a son from his father. These days both men and women are respected members of the Zalakdozi chainstitch tradition.

 

Artisan’s balls of wool for hand-embroidering children’s crewel wall-hanging rug tapestries for moppet
*No child labour is used in the production of Moppet's wall hangings.