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» Himachal Pradesh
Major Handicraft: Woolen Textiles
Products: Namda, Shawl, Pattu, Gudma
Other Handicrafts: Baskets, Caps And Pullans

Patti: Another allied craft is the weaving of tweed cloth called coats (cholas) etc. The fine wool obtained from the first shearing of the lamb is used for making 'cholas'. A woman who weaves most fine is generally paid a tribute in the shape of question " Are you weaving for a Chola?"

Namdas: Also known as "felted wool" is made by beating rather than weaving the wool Namdas were once very popular but they are now almost vanishing as craft.

Gudmas: Blankets and bags are made from the wool of the 'Giangi' sheep and usually come in natural colors with borders made in red and black. The blankets are called 'Gudma' and are woven especially in the Kullu valley as this place has a special kind of clay that is used to clean and finish a 'Gudma'. Gudma is a very warm blanket and can be used in lace of quilt. A special type of wool called 'Biang wool' having long fibres is used for its manufacture.

Pullans: 'Pullans', foot-wears like the bed-room slippers, made out of the fibres of 'bhang' are Basket, Himachal Pradeshhandicraft in the upper reaches of Inner and Outer-Seraj in the Jalori and Bashleo pass regions. The bottom of the footwear is made of the 'bhang' fibre whereas the upper is made of goat hair called 'shell' and bhang fibre. Very colourful designs are prepared for the upper. It is warm footwear and is used inside the room also.

Basketry: Baskets in Himachal are made of a high altitude species of bamboo called 'nargal'. In main Kullu Valley baskets (pataris) are made in a few Harijan villages near Mohal, about five miles from Kullu . These people had their full trade in the past when fruits were transported in the baskets by the orchardists.

Himachal's Caps: It would be both apt and hot to say that Himachal's cap has done a commendable job of keeping a headcount of the tradition of Himachal and its people. An oasis of colour a symphony in design, an embroidered dream. Kullu cap is an extremely colourful headgear, made of a wollen cloth with variety of colouful band of Shaneel around it.

Kullu Shawls: Kullu Shawls occupy a place of pride in the handicrafts of the district. Like the juicy red delicious and golden apples, these exquisite specimens of art adoring the fair damsels of this fairyland, are becoming increasingly popular as precious souveniers for the tourists.
World Famous Kullu Shawls Himachal Pradesh
'Pattoos' Pattoos are thicker and heavier than shawls. Ordinary thick and rough once called 'Dohru' are used as bed blankets. The peculiar use to which they are put to by women folk is like a sari with the difference that the folds are in the front and the end does not cover the head. Its both ends are pinned just below the shoulders on the front with local silver broaches having long chains and called 'boomini' in the local dialect.

The pattoo is tied round the waist with a piece of cloth called 'Gachi'. The designs brilliantly coloured and in tune with the gay nature of the people, come in the front and make the costumes extremely colourful, lively and picturesque.

Plain shawls of 'Pashmina' locally called 'Loi' are woven by all sections of people, whether Brahmins or Zamindars or other castes, in pitlooms built in their houses. Those who are not rich enough, make shawls of wools of wool.

The History Of Pattoos
The introduction of designs and flowers on 'pattoos' is said to have been made by certain weaver families of Bushehar who had settled in this district about 150 to 200 years back and some of their decendents still continue this traditional line of passing on the craftsmanship from generation to generation. These 'Paudar Pattoos" are still called 'Bushehari Dhari'.

Significance of Pattoos
The chief characterstic of shawl pattoo making in this district is the involvement of the entire community, both as manufactures and purchasers. These are mainly woven for personal use. No false notion of lost prestige is associated with this craft. On the contrary, every family takes pride in it and delightfully makes a present of it to its friends.

It has acquired a rather elevated status and heightened significance because of the fact that the 'Pattoos' are worn by women folk and long coats (cholas) by men while performing dances in fairs, festivals and religious congerations. This gives a spiritual incentive and a feeling of fulfilment of their religious aspirations.

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