Handicrafts of Kashmir
The Kashmir valley is rich not only in cultural and ethnic diversity, but also in the numerous arts and crafts nurtured over the centuries. With the passage of time, the Art becomes more and more diverse. Kashmir is now famous for its textiles, Pashmina Shawls, embroidered outfits, silk saris, papier mache, wood carving, hand woven carpets and a variety of traditional handicrafts.
Kashmiri carpets are prominent for two reasons. They are entirely handcrafted. Second, they are twisted rather than tufted. Woollen and silken carpets both have a cotton base. However, the cost of the carpet rises proportionally when the base is silken. The colour combination is always eye-catching, making Kashmiri carpets a great idea. Persia was the originator of carpet weaving techniques. As a result, the majority of designs have been influenced by Persian with local variations.
Namda is a vibrant and eye-catching floor rug. It’s made of woollen and cotton fabric in the desirous shape. The price varies depending on the type of wool. Namda with more woollen stuffing is more expensive than Namda with less wool. The typical embroidery on rug is chain stitch with cotton thread makes it beautiful.
Papier Mache is a centuries-old technique to create different kinds of products. There are three stages to the production of Papier Mache products.
First, soak a piece of paper in water until it dissolves. Then pound it and mix it with an adhesive solution. Allow it to dry completely after spreading it over a mould. After drying, a suitable shape is used to create a product. Apply a shiny paint or varnish to it and draw an artistic design with bright glitter colours.
Kashmiri Shawls are prominent throughout the world for their high quality and sophistication. Wool, Pashmina and Shahtoosh are the three main fibres that use to make Kashmiri shawls.
Woollen shawls are cheaper than Shahtoosh shawls. However, woollen shawls, on the other hand, are a Kashmir expertise prominent for the intricate embroidery designs. The embroidery and quality of wool determines the price of the Shawl.
Pashmina shawls are softer and delicate. The yarn obtain from the ibex hair which lives at a height of 14,000 feet ASL.
Shahtoosh is a legendary ‘ring shawl’ prominently lighter, soft and warm.
Crewel work from Kashmir is in high demand all over the world. This is a unique embroidery design on a pre-shrunk white cotton fabric. The size of the stitches and the quality of the yarn determine the intrinsic value of each piece. Chain stitch is a popular embroidery, with a hook rather than a needle. This embroidery uses in decorative items such as wall hangings and rugs.
Tweed obtain from 100% pure wool. The cocoon collected in Kashmir is of exceptional quality. This yarn’s fineness speaks for itself. This type of silk is known as ‘chinon’ or ‘crepe de chine’.
Pheran is a type of shirt or cloak. It’s loose enough to fit a Kangri (small basket filled with coal embers) inside. Men’s phorans are always made of tweed or coarse wool, whereas women’s phorans are of raffle with Ari or Hook embroidery on the neck, cuffs and edges. The quality of the embroidery and the thickness of the raffle determines the price.
Basketry is among the top handicrafts of Kashmir. Willow uses in a variety of handicrafts in Kashmir, including baskets, lamp shades, tables and chairs.
The colour, grains and inherent characteristics of walnut tree wood are distinctive. Kashmiri artisans are famous for their walnut wood carving and fret work. Their design and creativity produce outclass and superior quality products.
Copper and Silver Carving
Copper lining on the walls, floor and ceiling is a popular local handicraft. Similarly, samovars, bowls, plates and trays with floral, stylish geometric design, leafy and calligraphic motifs. This type of creativity on copper or silver refers as ‘naqash’.
Author: Fehmeeda Farid Khan