Chamba, Himachal Pradesh

Chamba Rumal

Chamba Rumal is a form of embroidery that originated in the state of Himachal Pradesh during the 17th century. The royal ladies of Chamba valley created embroidered pieces to be bestowed as ceremonial coverings, wedding dowries, important gifts, etc. Gradually, other sections of the society started following this tradition. This rumal began to be presented as a sign of goodwill by the bride’s and groom’s families.

Both sides of a Chamba rumal are stitched simultaneously resulting in same design on both the sides of the fabric. This distinctive technique is known as do-rukha embroidery. Traditionally, mal-mal or khaddar was used as base fabric and naturally dyed untwisted silk floss was used as embroidery thread.

The designs of these rumals took inspiration from the themes of Ramayana, Mahabharata, Lord Krishna, nature and the happenings of everyday life. Colors are used symbolically; blue to depict Krishna’s body, red, blue and white for Brahma, Vishnu, Mahesh. Miniature paintings share similar themes and thus these rumals are also known as Paintings in Embroidery.



A basic outline of the selected design is rendered on the fabric by a miniature art painter using charcoal or brush.


Double satin stitch is used to embroider the same design on both the sides of the fabric known as do-rukha (two-faced) embroidery.