World’s Best Art & Craft in Kashmir

October 1, 2010

The rich historical and cultural heritage of Kashmir has enriched the culture of Kashmir with artistic endowments. Kashmiri arts and crafts are famous around the world for their fine workmanship.

Papier Mache
Papier Mache products are made of the pulp of paper and adhesive. The mixture is crafted into desired shape, then dried and painted. The bright motifs on the papier-mache products have made it one of the best known of the Kashmir Arts and Crafts.

The rich arts and crafts of Kashmir are best represented by the carpets, shawls, rugs and wall decorations that have found their way into homes around the world. The minute details worked into a piece of cotton fabric are a wonderful testimony to the artistic skills of the embroiderers. The crewelwork, done using a hook, and the chain stitch, are the different techniques used in Kashmiri embroidery.

A Kashmiri Carpet is well known the world over, and is a perfect representative of the Kashmir arts and crafts. The fine workmanship of the carpets, and the materials like fine wool and silks used for making them makes the carpet prohibitively expensive for many. But if you are lucky enough to pick a Kashmiri carpet during your shopping tours for Kashmir arts and crafts, you can always rest assured of having a collector’s item in your possession.

Kashmiri rugs are either woven on the loom, or made by embroidering ornate motifs on a cotton fabric. The woven rugs are a miniature version of the Kashmiri Carpets, though the price may still deter most buyers. The embroidered rugs, with elaborate crewelwork and chain stitch, are a fine memento of your Kashmir tour.

The finest shawls in the world are made in Kashmir. The shawls, made of sheep wool and Pashmina wool, are known the world over for their fine texture and soft colors. The woolen shawls, affordable for the most part, are popular due to the elaborate craftsmanship displayed on the panels along the shawl. Pashmina shawls, made from wool sourced from the high latitude Ibex, are loved for their fine texture. Though pure Pashmina is expensive, mixed Pashmina is affordable for the most part. The third kind of Kashmiri shawl, the Shahtoosh, is a banned item, since its popularity led to the near extinction of the Chiru deer, from which the wool for the shawl is sourced.

A pheran is a traditional garment worn in Kashmir. This loose coat is worn by people all over the cold state to ward off the frigid winds of the winter months. It also accommodates the ubiquitous “Kangri”, an earthen lamp carried close to the body for warmth.

Tweed is woven from pure wool. It is one of the most popular export items among the Kashmir art and craft items. The fine texture of the Kashmiri tweed makes it a must buy on your list when you tour Kashmir.

Silk Textiles
Kashmiri silk refers to the fine silk sourced from cocoons reared in Kashmir. Nourished on fine mulberry leaves, the cocoons grown at the sericulture farms of Kashmir yield a fine quality of silk.

Wood Carving

The wood carving industry in Kashmir thrives on the walnut wood that grows in the valley. The Kashmiri walnut wood has a fine texture and smooth grain patterns, making the wood expensive. Add to that the fine workmanship of the wood carvers and the finished product becomes unattainable for most buyers. The price of the wooden piece of craft depends on the grain pattern of the wood used, the detailing of the carving and the part of the tree used.

Brass and Silver Ware

Brass and silver ware in Kashmir includes bowls, plates, samovars and tall glasses. The carved murals on the brass items are known as “nakkashi”. The brass pieces are often covered with embossed silver murals.

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