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How a desperate artisan designed portable loom to rescue carpet industry

Srinagar, Feb 06:  Ending his 35-year association with carpet weaving has been the worst fear for Syed Altaf Hussain.

Carpet weaving, an art passed to him from his ancestors, has earned him the title of being the most experienced carpet dealer in entire Magam.

 

However, the decline in the art along with influence of Iranian carpets over International markets has Hussain worried.

To understand the modification and clarity in carpet weaving, Hussain (50), who resides at Ahmedpora, Magam, left in 2014for Iran, where the art has been progressing immensely.

“After visiting there I realised that our carpets had many defects, which was due to the traditional looms,” he said.

Three years after studying the traditional loom made carpets, Hussain has come up with a modified loom, which can produce flawless carpet in less time.

Hussain said it took him more than six months to design the loom, which he believes can give a tough competition to foreign rags.

“During my visit to Iran, I clicked a video of carpet loom there and then made a similar one with few modifications,” he said.

Considering the area occupied by traditional looms, Hussain modified it to fit in few meters.

“Normally we see that most of our artisans are very poor and do not have enough space for bigger looms. So, this loom is portable and can be taken from one room to another,” he said.

“Mostly our women are associated with carpet making and they give up this art after marriage. But they can take this loom to their in-law’s home and keep themselves associated with this art,” Hussain said.

He believes the loom can revive the carpet weaving art in Kashmir, as it was currently the most cost effective machine in the market.

“Normally, a traditional loom costs Rs 40,000 to 60,000, but the one I made is just Rs 6,000-7,000 only. So, everyone desiring to take up this profession can buy it,” he said.

Hussain said the artisans can use the loom from both sides to weave the carpet in less possible time.

Hussain on Tuesday put his innovation at the exhibition at Kashmir Haat, which was organised by the Handicrafts Department.

On the occasion the officials of the department said that majority of their loom were not used by the artisans due to their large size.

“We issued some 1,400 looms previously but majority of them were not used. So, the one made by Syed Altaf Hussain is very efficient and I appeal all the artisans to get benefitted with it,” Assistant Director, Handicrafts Department, Mushtaq Ahmad Shah, said.