Kashmir has been producing exquisite handicrafts since ages. Kashmiri artisans expertise in their fine craft. The districts of Srinagar, Ganderbal, Budgam are known for their cultural heritage which reflects completely on the age old handicraft industries of the region.
Pashmina, wooden work, Phoolkari embroidery, Crewel embroidery, Carpet making are few of the most aesthetically as well as commercially important handicraft industries of Jammu and Kashmir. The state not only has one of the best picturesque across the globe but also speaks volumes about the artistic expertise of people there.
Here are few of the handicrafts of Kashmir-
Pashmina is a luxury item from Kashmir and is a timeless classic.. You will not find this kind of warm woolen fabric anywhere else in India. Pashmina is obtained the fleece of the Himalayan mountain goat or the Changthangi goat. This raw wool is turned into fine shawl by processing. Pure pashmina cannot tolerate high tension hence processing is mandatorily required for the fabric.
Pashmina shawls are extremely popular nationwide and hence the demand for raw material is extremely high. According to the Grassroot artisans, a Pashmina fabric could be used for over a hundred years which makes it timeless indeed.
02 Crewel Embroidery
It is a variety of embroidery using chain stitch done with threads made out of wool. Crewel embroidery is mostly done on fabrics used for furnishings or upholsteries. Flowers and leaves seem to be a popular pattern. Curtains, bed covers, cushions, pillow covers with Crewel embroidery can be found across the state. The price of the material is determined by the amount and exquisiteness of the embroidery done.
03 Sozani Embroidery
Another popular form of embroidery from Kashmir region. The motifs are created in satin stitch and are worked on both sides of the fabric. The stitch work is also called Dorukha sometimes. This embroidery is used to decorate shawls and woolen apparels. The craft has a lot of Persian influences to it. The artisan executing sozani embroidery are known as Sozankars.
04 Wooden Work
Kashmir is also famous for its exquisite wooden handcrafted work. Skillful artisans carve out beautiful motives on chinar or walnut wood. This these designs will leave you mesmerized. Walnut trees are indigenous to Kashmir. Wooden handcrafts include cabinet, bed, dining table, and a lot more.
05 Hand-knitted Carpet
Densely hand knotted carpets are a specialty of Kashmir. These carpets are popularly known as Kal Baffi. They are made of silk, cotton, wool. They are available in various colours and designs. There are around 200-900 knots in each carpet and the price depends on the density of knots. The silk carpets have a lot of Persian influence to them.
Phoolkari is another embroidery style which predominantly is found in parts of Punjab. The principal motif as the name suggests are of flowers. Even a few years back Phoolkari was an bridal trousseau essential in the region. Handkerchiefs, apparels, cushion cover curtains are some of the phoolkari work items found in Kashmir.
07 Basholi Painting
Basholi paintings are inspired from religious themes which includes tales from Gita, Ramayana and other mythological books. Basholi is a small town located in the Kathua district of Jammu division. They are marked by blazing colours and bold lines. They speak volumes about the Rick culture of the state.
08 Papier Mache
A popular handcraft of Kashmir made of paper pulp. Paper pulp mixed is mixed with glue or resin and moulded into various shapes. Organic colours are usually used to colour it.
Few Handicraft Shops In Kashmir
Kashmir Novelties- Hari Market Road, Jammu, 180001
International Wood Handy Craft- Marble Market Road, Sec.1A, Extn. Trikuta Nagar, near Khurana Marble, Jammu, Jammu and Kashmir
Kashmir Collections- Apsara Rd, opp. Apsara Multiplex, Gandhi Nagar, Jammu, Jammu and Kashmir 180004
Also Read : Handicrafts Of Gujarat – A treasure house