These gorgeous 100% biodegradable handmade wool felt toys are perfect for children as they are soft, safe and full of character. Even cats' love them! Felt making, or Namda, as it is locally called, is a craft exercised in some areas of Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, and Rajasthan. Namda cluster in the Tonk district, which was once ruled by the 'Pathans' of Afghanistan, collectively employs about 500 Pinjare artisans, an Indian-Persian Muslim community.
Apart from contemporary workshops using a carding machine to fluff the wool, the entire felt making process is actually quite primitive. Felt making is said to have migrated to India from Iran and Turkey. It is believed that a person named Nubi developed felt fabric to protect Emperor Akbar's horse from cold in the 11th century. Akbar being impressed by the craftsmanship gave the craft the title of Namda.
Namda toys came into existence about 10 years ago, thus their shapes have taken a modern twist. Our little-felt friends come in vibrant animal figures such as elephant, goat, and reindeer. These toys are a perfect precedent of the art of acceptance that Tonk portrays, as during the British rule it set an example of Hindu-Muslim unity in India.