The process of Durrie Making by the Tharu Community in Gabraula village of Palia block, LakhimpurKheri district, Uttar Pradesh

Priya Jyoti

WWF-India has supported the Tharu women weavers to augment  their income by setting up an enterprise that makes durries under the Core Support Programme funded by the SEED Division, Department of Science and Technology, Government of India. 

Durries are age-old Indian flat-weave rugs, which are reversible and tightly woven. The Tharus are a weaving community residing in the northern buffer of the Dudhwa Tiger Reserve, located in the terai region of Uttar Pradesh. The Tharus have traditional skills of weaving and used locally available grasses to make baskets. This skill has been upgraded and developed into durrie making. With the support of the SEED Division, Department of Science and Technology, Government of India, WWF-India has worked with traditional Tharu weavers by providing trainings on skill building, design improvement, quality control as well as standardisation and costing. The organisation has also constructed a weaving centre and provided market linkage support to help set up a sustainable enterprise. The weavers, most of whom are women, have now formed a self help group called ‘Tharu  Hathkarga Gharelu Udyog’. WWF-India has also facilitated their registration with TRIFED, helped with exposure cum marketing visits to trade fairs, melas and haats. A business plan has been developed to make the enterprise more robust.


MATERIALS REQUIRED : Cotton yarn for the warp and weft, scissors, shuttles, sewing machine, spindle, measuring tape, charkha for reeling, locally fabricated pitlooms, jackard loom.

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PROCUREMENT OF THE YARN: Dealers from neighbouring locations provide a variety of cotton yarn and appropriate ply'.

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SETTING UP A PIT-LOOM: A 2.5 feet deep pit is dug. The length and breadth varies according to loom size. The supports of the pit-loom are set into the floor at a distance of 3 feet by 4.5 feet, facing a pit that is dug 3 feet deep. The weaver operates the pedals with her legs which are placed inside the pit. The frame of the loom is made of bamboo. The rotating frame (Belan) is set onto the support of the pit-loom 2 feet above the ground. This is done for the weaver to maintain a good distance between her legs and the weaving surface. The ground absorbs the tension and speed while weaving and makes the durrie

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SETTING UP THE WARP: As per the required width of the durrie, a warp yarn of an appropriate thickness is set onto the pit-loom. The warp has two layers that pass through a horizontal metallic frame called the reed. The reed keeps the yarn straight and equidistant from each other. Setting the warp yarn onto the pit-loom is a tedious job and requires two women.

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PREPARING THE WEFT YARN: As per the design of the durrie, yarn of appropriate color and ply is spun onto the spindle with a charkha. This process is called reeling. It is done to tighten the thread and free it from tangles. This loaded spindle is later used while weaving.

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WEAVING PROCESS: As per the design of the durrie, the women weavers manoeuver the loom with their feet placed in the pit and weave the warp and weft yarns to form a durrie as per the design. They constantly beat the weft yarns to settle them tightly into the warp. Once the weft threads are tightly beaten between the warp, the weaver exchanges the upper and the lower layers of the warp. This locks the weft between the two layers of warp, providing more strength and durability to the durrie. The time taken to make the durrie depends upon the size and design complexity.

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FINISHING: The weavers finishes the durrie by knotting the leftover ends. Scissors are used for cutting the protruding knots, weft threads, etc. Sometimes, the edges are also sown using a machine.

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