is known throughout the world as much for its arts
and crafts as for its scenic beauty. The products of
unique craftsmanship have won the appreciation of
connoiseurs from far and near. The articles range
from woollen textiles of fleecy soft texture and
matchless excellence in weaving, hand woven carpets
of finest warp and weft, to the exquisite designs
worked on papier-mache, wood work, silverware etc.
The unique position among Kashmir textiles is held
by the celebrated shawl. The shawl industry is as
old as the hills. The Pashmina shawl is made from
the smooth fleecy wool of the Kel goat and is highly
priced. These shawls are generally woven with
embroidered patterns. A high class shawl is expected
to have designs worked out evenly on both sides. The
celebrated 'ring Shawl' can actually pass through a
ring. Rare and different from the others is Jamawar
shawl. The peculiar ch.mp3 of this shawl is derived
from the symphony of colour schemes depicting
architectural and mythological figures interwoven
with landscape designs.
is a felt rug, made from beaten wool, which is then
embroidered over. Fine embroidery makes the namda
sometimes more attractive than a pile carpet.
gabba - a unique type of floor covering is
prepared from old woolens in a variety of f.mp3s and
designs. Rich blending of colours gives the old
material a new appearance and makes it very
attractive. It is used as divan-spreads, bedding
material and even drawing room rugs.
carpet industry, introduced into the Valley
by Sultan Zain-ul-Abidin, is justly renowned. From
the point of weaving, carpets are broadly divided
into two classes: smooth-faced carpets and pile
carpets. Pile carpets (Kalins) made in Kashmir since
the Muslim rule attained great perfection. Worked
with floral and other designs, the hand woven pile
carpet became the national craft of Kashmir. During
the British days, Iranian motifs were introduced,
providing further impetus to the industry. Kashmiri
carpet can match the Iranian or any foreign make,
and is high on the export list of Kashmir.
embroidery of Kashmir, called Kasida, is
world-famous. Varied, rich in colour, elaborate in
detail and exquisite in execution, the kasida
patterns are feely drawn by naqqash, mostly from
memory. The finest kasida work, particularly
embriodered on shawls or saris, has no 'wrong' side.
silverware compares favourably with that turned out
by the most fashionable establishments in London and
Paris. The range of silverware is very wide: tea
sets, flower vases toilet sets, scent chests,
picture frames, cigarette cases, tumblers etc. Both
plain and engraved work is executed to cater to
different tastes. Among the flora and fauna,, leaves
of chinar and the lotus furnish the popular
patterns. The Kashmiri artisan also produces
excellent products of copperware, consisting mostly
of cooking pots and samavars and sundry articles for
the household or the mantlepiece. Enamelled
silver-work is also pretty.
craft, peculiar to Kashmir, was also introduced into
the Valley by Sultan Zain-ul-Abidin. The products,
beautifully painted over with ornamental patterns,
comprise picture-frames, pen-cases, tea pots,
writing sets, screens, candle-sticks, vases and
other utility goods.
and chinar wood provides material for the
wood-carving, which is among the best known cottage
industries of Kashmir. The Kashmiri carver, second
to none in the world in his skill as a designer,
uses walnut wood, which is durable and has a rich
natural-veined surface. Articles made of carved
walnut wood include chairs, cots, cabinets, tables,
jewellery boxes and ornamental caskets. Floral
designs of almost every conceivable variety are made
with great accuracy of detail in chased or raise
is a speciality in Kashmir woodwork, and comprises
ceiling of rooms, made from thin panels of pine
wood, cut into geometrical designs. Builders of
houseboats have kept this craft alive.
of Kashmir is also notable. Lunch and flower
baskets, chairs, tables and various other articles
of common use are turned out in elegant designs.
Kangri, an earthen bowl encased in wickerwork, is
also made as an artefact ornamented with wicker
rings and coloured mica for the mantlepiece.
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