Charpai, Charpaya, Charpoy, Khat or Manji (Hindi : चारपाई, Bengali: চারপায়া, Urdu, Saraiki, Punjabi; char "four" + paya "footed") is a traditional woven bed used in the Indian subcontinent. It is also known as Khaat, Khatia, or Manji.
Charpai is well known due to its natural qualities mostly it is used in warm areas; its net is made out of cotton, natural fibres and date leaves. It's a very simple design that's very easy to construct. There are many interpretations of the traditional design and over the years craftspeople have innovated on the weave patterns and materials used.
The construction is simple, it has a frame of four strong vertical posts connected by four horizontal members. This simple construction of the Charpai also makes it self-leveling. The weaving of the Charpai is done in many ways, e.g. diagonal cross weave with one end left for adjustments as linear members. This helps in controlling the sagging of the bed as it ages with use. It was traditionally made out of a wooden frame and cotton ropes but modern day charpais could be made out of metal frames and plastic tapes. It is known as manjaa in Punjab.
Ibn Battuta describes them as having "four conical legs with four crosspieces of wood on which braids of silk or cotton are woven. When one lies down on it, there is no need for anything to make it pliable, for it is pliable of itself."
- Susan Corinne Jamart (1978). Charpai: Indian Cot Filling, a Visual and Technical Documentation. University of California, Berkeley.
- Battutah, Ibn (2002). The Travels of Ibn Battutah. London: Picador. pp. 185, 317. ISBN 9780330418799.
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