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Kashmir Crafts

Kashmir Carpets -A hand knotted carpet of Kashmir is perhaps the most coveted of textile weaves, because of its fineness and quality.

The process of wrapping yarn around the warp to form a pile is known as knotting. A hand knotted carpet is made purely by hand using either wool or silk.

Kashmir Silk Carpet is also unique in the way that every single carpet is woven based on a design visualized by a designer and its corresponding Talim; a coded script consisting of precise instructions to be strictly followed by the weaver while weaving the carpet. This coded script is a weaver's technical language. The practice of Talim is a unique method of manufacturing carpets and is distinct to the Kashmir region.

Kashmir Pashmina Shawls -Pashmina is the name of the finest hand made woolen fabric made from the soft, downy undercoat that grows primarily on the neck and belly of the Himalayan Mountain goat, Capra Hiracus. Therefore Pashmina is Pashm in woven form. The word pashm is adjective of a Kashmiri word 'Posh', meaning the animal. In the opinion of some oriental scholars the word Pashmina is of either Turkish or Persian origin.

Pashmima has a special luster due to its long fine fibers which are as thin as 12 microns. By contrast, the fibers from premium sheep's wool such as Merino Extra fine, are 23 microns thick and human hair ranges up to 200 microns thickness. Thus Pashmina is exceptionally light, soft and warm and feels luxurious against the skin. The natural colors of the fleece range from white to gray, brown, dark tan and black.

Kashmir Kani Shawls - Kani shawl is a length of intricately woven material used as a wrapper around the body. The shawl is widely known as Jamawar as the Kings and courtiers used to buy it by the yard, war and made "Jama" gown or robe out of it. It has a superfine texture which baffles even the connoisseurs. Immensely impressed by its resilience, the Emperor Nepoleon presented a shawl to his Empress Josphine in 1776. This was so liked by the warrior's wife that it set a trend of new fashion in the whole of Europe.

The craft is believed to be indigenous to Kashmir. It was considered as the imperial prestige, hence given an immense amount of patronage by Akbar, the great Mughal King. The miniature paintings and portraits show the Emperor wearing robes and gowns made of Kani shawl, thus pointing towards his being the great admirer of the art.

Artisans of tremendous skill and patience go to the loom and create a marvelous piece of Kani Shawl. An unbelievable amount of concentration is required for weaving just an inch of Jamawar. An artisan can not weave beyond an inch a day while being at the loom. The Kani Shawl being oblong in shape generally remains in 1x2 meters in size.

Two craftsmen can complete a shawl within 2 to 3 years and in some cases the period of weaving even stretches to 5 long years, depending entirely on designs.

Kashmir Woodcarving - The process of walnut woodcarving is known as dhun hath kaem (walnut wood work) or simply as dhoon kaem (walnut work).

The walnut wood carving of Kashmir, employs a process of hand carving done very carefully and delicately in various styles by means of varied tools, fabricated locally depicting forms and motifs that have evolved over a period of centuries. The carving employs a host of motifs that are largely based on the varied flora and fauna of the region. These motifs are used in highly intricate patterns with some stylization which is also reflective of other associated Kashmiri handicrafts.

The process is representative of local tradition of carving, evolved over the centuries and transmitted through the usage of both wood as well as stone in architectural as well as sculptural medium. The walnut woodwork represents various facets of carving; from flat to deep relief that employs a subtle three-dimensional effect.

The manufacturing of walnut wood carved products has developed into a highly specialized craft industry on the same lines as many other crafts from this region, with streamlined stages of production.

Kashmir Papier-Mâché - Papier-Mache is among the most renowned crafts of Kashmir. The craft represents a rich tradition of craftsmanship that dates back to the reign of Zainul Abidin Budshah (1420-1470 A.D) originally the art of papier-mâché confined to Kari Qalamdani, the making of pen cases. With the passage of time however, the craft developed and recorded a great perfection. papier-mâché as of today covers the whole range of poignant products that keeps the customers alluring throughout the world. Flower Vases, office screen, trays, book jackets and powder boxes are only a few of the decorative and utility items produced in papier-mâché. The art products are embellished after the delicate process of preparation of mould use of pulp and application of colours and designing. The designs that very often recur in making of papier-mâché objects include gul-under-gul (flower within flower) hazara, (the thousand flowers) and gul vilayat ( the dear flower).

Proficient artisans even render the Mughal miniature paintings in papier-mâché, creating an object of rather an unsurpassed value. Gold powder is also added to some of the objects to make them more alluring.

Kashmir Willow Work - Willow rushes that grow plentifully in marshes and lakes in Kashmir are used to make charmingly quaint objects, ranging from shopping baskets and lampshades to tables and chairs, all generally in expensive. To increase their life span, unvarnished products should be chiseled and frequently sprayed with water, particularly in hot, dry climates, to prevent them from brittle.

Because the plenty growth of bamboo, the bamboo craft is deeply rooted in local folk tradition. The product includes Tokras, Tokris, oval shaped containers with lids and Chhikus etc. In Kashmir 'Kangri' the handmade warming equipment is made with an earthen bowl wrapped in a net of bamboo slips.

Kashmir Copperware - The Kashmiri artisan also produces excellent products of copper-ware consisting mostly of cooking pots and 'Samovars' (tea kettle of Russian origin) and sundry articles for the household or the mantelpiece. The copperware of Srinagar is admiringly adapted for electroplating

The old city abounds with shops where objects of copper line the walls, the floor and even the ceiling made generally for the local market. Craftsmen can often be seen engraving objects of household utility-samovars, bowls, plates and trays. Floral, stylized, geometric, leaf and sometimes calligraphic motifs are engraved or embossed on copper, and occasionally silver, to cover the entire surface with intricate designs which are then oxidized, the better to stand out from the background. The work known as ‘naqash’ determines the price of the object, as does the weight.

Both plain and engraved work is executed to cater to the differing tastes of buyers, which include many American tourists. The range of silverware is indeed wide: silver tea-sets, flower vases, toilet sets, ornamental picture frames, cigarette cases, tumblers etc, Among the flora and fauna, leaves of the 'Chinar' and the lotus furnish the popular patterns. Designs of the lilac, a popular flower of the valley are also wrought in the silver.

Kashmir Crewel - Crewel embroidery provides a very dazzling and durable material for draperies and upholsteries. The embroidery is done on thick woven cloth called "Dusooti" in local parlance with pointed hook, crochet. The craft is believed to have been introduced in Kashmir by Syrian traders in 13th Century AD.

All embroidery is hand done in either single or double ply wool. Crewel embroidery material is quite popular in export market as it satisfies the aesthetic expression lover of beauty all over the world. Besides these crewel products are very popular in domestic market also. Designs are available in assortment of colors ranging from a single color to multicolor embroidery. However, the designs and colors patterns can be altered as per order. The price is related with the amount of embroidery done on the material. The width of material is 52", 54" inches and length it comes in 25 or 29 meters, per roll. The craft is also available on Bedspreads, Cushion Covers, Throws, Shams, Curtain Drops, Duvets Covers in various sizes ranging from single to king size. We are sure to create a new World beauty in handicrafts and open new vistas in crewel embroidery fabrics given a chance. .

Kashmir Tapestry - Tapestry is a delicate and delightful rug of Kashmir. It is commonly known as a piece of interior decoration. There is now a growing tendency to use it as the floor covering also.

In making of the tapestry piece a process that involves the stitching on canvass has to be carefully done with needle on frames of different sizes. The bigger the frame, the larger shall be the size of the tapestry. Usually the sizes remain confined to 3' x 5', 6' x 4 and 6' x 9' unless ordered to desired specifications. Woolen yarn of 2 to 3 ply is stitched with the canvass in various designs, mostly Italian to produce an ornamental piece of wall hanging. The flora and fauna often find place in tapestry designs. This style of making tapestries is unique as it does not resemble the process of manufacture of the rug anywhere else. In Spain and in other European countries it is made on looms.

Kashmir Chain Stitch Rugs - These are hand embroidered rugs used as floor coverings or as wall hanging . This is an inexpensive carpet or the substitute for the carpet and comes in all sizes.

The technique of chain stitch is that of continued stitch of embroidery work all over the cloth, not by a needle but by a hook called 'Aree'.

The embroidery is done all over on a hand-woven preshrunk white cotton cloth base with woolen, cotton or silken threads. The cloth used as the base cannot be seen at all because of continued stitching. In the best and expensive ones only the finest woolen threads are used with finnier and large number of stitches- tinnier, the neater and the better.

Kashmir Numdas & Gabbas - The valley of Kashmir offers you two type of floor covering beside carpet, they are Namdas and Gabbas, suits to everybody's budget. These colorful floor coverings made from woolen and cotton fibers.

Gabba rugs : Gabba is made from old woolens on which different colored cut out forms are secured with chain stitch. The edges and the field are covered with large embroidery. These rugs are usually made of 65 % wool or silk yarn & 35 % of cotton yarn the base of the rug is hessian cloth in pastel colors 7 it is backed by cotton cloth on the surface. Kashmiri embroidery is done the motifs are traditional Kashmiri floral patterns.

Namdas : These are like small carpets but less expensive than carpets .They are made from cotton or wool fibers ,The fibers, which is manually pressed into shape , can be plain or decorated by appliqué work of Chain stitch embroidery. Prices vary with the percentage of wool – a Namda containing 30 per cent wool being less expensive than the one containing 75 per cent wool. Namdas known for their bright colors & lovely designs.

A Numdah is a piece of pressed felt made either out of mixing wool and cotton or entirely of wool. Wool and cotton or unspun wool is evenly spread over a mat and then rolled and pressed underfoot for felting. The felted piece is then milled, washed and dried. Numdahs are either plain or also available with embroidery. The numdah makes a warm, colourful and inexpensive floor covering and is also used as a mattress where the climate is colder.

Kashmir Furniture - Kashmir furniture is one of the oldest traditional work of art that is still in high demand.

If you look at the painted Almirah of Kashmir furniture, you will surely want to possess one. A unique item of art, the beauty of Kashmir furniture is bound to mesmerize all. The traditional Kashmir furniture are quality products. Made from good quality teak wood or other famous woods, the tradition and the heritage of the state get reflected in these royal Kashmir furniture.
Consisting of items such as antique racks in various shapes and sizes, wooden Almirah, Jali Almirah, royal furniture and painted Almirah, these Kashmiri furniture are rare items of craft that needs good reservation and care.


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