A Timeless And Traditional Indian Bed – The Charpoy And All You Need To Know About It

Every continent and every country has a different history. These differences extend to little things as well, such as furniture pieces.

The charpoy is a traditional bed that originates from the Indian Sub-continent, including Pakistan, India, and Bangladesh.

Here is everything you need to know about the charpoy.

What Is A Charpoy?

It is a traditional Indian bed that is mostly handwoven. The charpoy is four-footed, and it has a tight network of woven fibres on which a person can sleep.

Depending on the region of the Indian Sub-continent you live in, the charpoy can be called manji, khatt, khatlo, and khatiya.

The History Of Charpoy

The charpoy dates back more than five thousand years ago!

However, no one is sure when it exactly originated.

Ever since then, its popularity has grown in the Indian sub-continent.

People from all walks of life use this surface for either sleeping or gathering with other members.

It is part of the daily lifestyle in India, and you will find it in every home, especially in rural areas.

Before the modern influence, the charpoy used to aid in generating an income for the entire household.

Families that used to be involved in charpoy making also started planting crops responsible for yielding the rope’s fibre. These families would come together in the day and night to weave the charpoy.

When the weaving was done, they would sell these charpoys or use them to sit in the shade during summer days.

Those summer months of using the charpoy have placed this beautiful and traditional piece of furniture at the heart of Indian culture.

Now, you will find the charpoy in rural areas or in slums where the simplicity of life is still appreciated. Modern beds and furniture have outdated charpoy in urban areas.

The Making Of The Charpoy

Creating the charpoy is not an easy task. It requires skill, experience, and exceptional manual dexterity.

Makers of this furniture piece need to have outstanding carpentry skills as they need to weave the chords quickly while working on the pattern and design.

In Pakistan, the material of the charpoy bed is jute. It is used to make the ropes of the charpoy that allows it to become a sleeping surface.

However, in other areas of the Indian sub-continent, it may be made of coir (a fibre taken from a coconut husk).

You will find many charpoy makers in the Indian sub-continent as it is still widely used in many regions.

The frame’s setting is comfortable, but the most challenging task is to weave the charpoy’s sleeping surface. The more complex the design is, the harder it is to weave.

There are differences in the designs of the charpoy too. Some are weaved together tightly so that it looks like a solid mat. On the other hand, some may look like a fishing net.

You can get any weave made depending on how much support you need for sleeping or sitting on the charpoy.

Uses Of The Charpoy

The charpoy is an incredibly versatile piece of furniture. It can be used as beds, stools, chairs, tables, and much more.

Of course, the function depends on the size of the charpoy.

The first function of the charpoy is being used as a bed. Many people all over the Indian sub-continent use it as a day bed.

They socialize, nap, and rest on it whenever they are tired.

Of course, many use it to sleep at night, too, during summers.

When the weather is pleasant, many take their charpoy out in their open verandas to fall asleep under the sky.

However, you will also see many labourers sleeping in these charpoys on construction sites and other areas.

That is because the charpoy is a convenient and accessible alternative to a bed.

Another function of the charpoy is being used as a bench. They are placed in many public spaces, especially in villages, to come together and meet.

It serves as a communal recreation space. Of course, these charpoys are incredibly big so that many people can come together at once.

On the other hand, there are smaller versions of the charpoy as well. They are not used as beds but as tables, stools, and chairs.

These versions of the charpoy are not that popular in the Indian sub-continent. You will see them in urban regions and other regions that fall outside the sub-continent.

That is why the charpoy is known as the most versatile piece of furniture. It serves many functions in different places all over the world.

When it is not in use, the charpoy is leaned against a wall.

Why People In The Indian Sub-Continent Love Charpoy

The charpoy has been in use for thousands of years now. In that time, the love for this piece of furniture has grown more and more. People love the charpoy because it is incredibly lightweight.

They can carry the charpoy and lay it anywhere so that they can either rest or take a nap on it.

The wooden charpoy is much more lightweight than the metal charpoy that is being used in modern times.

That was the charpoy’s primary aim: to have a lightweight and portable solution, and it serves this purpose exceptionally well.

Its versatility, functionality, affordability, and durability have made people all over the Indian sub-continent fall in love with.

The modern Indian may not use it that much anymore, but it is still loved all over rural areas where its beauty is still appreciated.

Final Words

This was your complete guide to charpoys. It is a traditional piece of furniture with little modern use, but it is still widely used because it is deep-rooted in the Indian culture.

If you want to experience the Indian culture, then a charpoy is the way to go.

You will soon fall in love with it, too, just as people all over the Indian sub-continent love it.

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