Jammu & Kashmir Handicrafts

Carpets are the perfect representative of the world famous Kashmiriarts and crafts. Main features of theseKashmiri carpet sare that they are hand woven and knotted and not machine made and never tufted. The yarn used in carpets normally is silk, wool or silk and wool. Finishing of the artwork and the material makes carpet expensive for many, but one can always assures for having a collector's item in possession because acarpet is a life long investment.s

Kashmiri carpet sare a long time investments .It can be as cheaper as u pay for a handkerchief or it can be the most expensive purchase of your Kashmir trip . But one thing is sure if you didn't buy a;carpet during your visit you are surely missing the art of Kashmir, for what it is world renowned.

Kashmir is not the origin of carpet weaving the art come from Persia. These carpets are famous for two things- they are hand made and they are always knotted, never tufted , the more knots per square inch, the greater its value and durability. Also there are single and double-knotted carpets. A ;single knotted carpet is fluffier and more resistant to touch than the double knotted. Knotting of the carpet & yarn is the most important features. The yarn used normally is silk, wool or silk and wool. Woolen carpets always have a cotton base.

The fascinating combinations of colors & artistry makes the Kashmiri carpet a prized possession.

Namdas are Less expensive then carpets. These rugs made from cotton and woolen fiber which is manually pressed into shape. These colorful floor coverings are decorated by chain stitch embroidery which is done beautifully by woolen and cotton threads.

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 : Chain stiched rugs, Gabbas 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 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 applique 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.

The finest shawls to the world is given by Kashmir. Kashmiri shawls are made from three fibers they are wool, Pashmina and Shahtoosh and decorated by Sozni , Motifs embroidery types.Pashmina, yarn is spun got from the hair of the ibex though pure pashmina is expensive, but semi or mixed Pashmina is affordable. Shahtoosh , the legendary ‘ring shawl’ is famous for its lightness, softness and warmth but it is a banned item now.

Kashmiri shawls are decorated by various kind of embroideries Art or hook embroidery; motifs are well-known flower designs and 'sozni' or needlework's, is finely done by experienced craftsman's material & fine embroidery causes the hike in prices

You can get three main fibers types from which the Kashmiri shawls are made ,these are - wool ,Pashmina and most expensive Shatoosh

Pure wool shawls called raffal which have different counts of wool - 40, 60, 80 etc.,if the count increases so does the price .

Kashmiri Pashmina Shawls: Pashmina is known for its softness. Pashmina yarn is spun from the hair of the ibex found at 14,000 ft above the sea level, Pure Pashmina is expensive but mixed Pashmina with wool is less expensive

Shahtoosh , the legendary ‘ring shawl’ is famous for its lightness, softness and warmth. But it is a banned item now because hair of the Tibetan antelope's throat are painstakingly collected until there are enough for a shawl.

These products are made of the pulp of paper and adhesive. To make a product of Papier Mache, paper is soaked in water till it disintegrates. It is then pounded, mixed with an adhesive solution, shaped over moulds, and allowed to dry and set before being painted and varnished. There is a big variety in artistry and the choices of the colors. prices are decided by the material used to decorate these artwork.

The craft is belived to be originated in Iran & been introduced in Kashmir by 15th century now Its become a popular handicraft item. Even though all the paper-Maches of Kashmir look similar at first glance but they must be different in prices. The price of Mache depends upon the type and the quality of the product. There are three different qualities of Papier-Mache.

To make a Papier Mache object, the paper is not usually pulped, merely soaked, pounded, then pasted, layer on layer, over a mould. When the object is completed, a thin layer of chalk mixed with glue is traditionally applied to the surface, The last step in the process is printing and varnishing of the Papier-Mache.

The designs painted on objects of Papier Mache are brightly colored. They vary in artistry and the choices of colors. Gold is used on most objects, either as the only color, or as the highlight for certain motifs, and besides the finish of the product, it is the quality of the pure gold used which determines the price.

It is one of the ancient arts in Kashmir, Kashmiri silverware, especially ornamental picture-frames, is in great demand in the markets of United States, European countries and Australia. The work known as ‘Naqash’ determines the price of the object, as does the weight.

Kashmiri silverware is one of the ancient arts in Kashmir ,The artwork known as ‘naqash’ determines the price of the object, as does the weight. For years its being used by Kashmiri peoples. The main production centers of silverware is Jammu and Srinagar. Ornamental picture-frames, are in great demand between the peoples of United States, European countries and Australia.

Craftsmen can often be seen in old city, engraving objects of household utility- bowls, frames ,plates ,samovars, flower vases, tea-sets, scent chests, toilet sets, ornamental picture-frames, cigarette-cases, tumblers and trays. Craftsmen of Kashmir maintained the traditional work and the quality of products. Floral, stylized, geometric, leaf , calligraphic motifs are engraved or embossed and the leaves of the Chinar or lotus are the trendy patterns. Lilac flower designs is also very popular.

Wood carving wood-carving is one of the best known cottage industries of the valley .Kashmiri walnut andChinar wood has a fine texture and smooth grain patterns, making the wood expensive. 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. In India, Kashmir is the only region where walnut trees grows . Walnut is a soft wood, so craftsmen do fine carving on walnut wood Carving is the demonstration of the carver's skill, and walnut take it very well, being one of the strongest varieties of wood.

There are two types of walnut trees - one is the fruit bearing tree whose wood is well known, and the other which bears no fruits, is locally known as 'zangul'. Zangul is less strong & has none of the beauty of walnut .

Chinar leaves, vine leaves and flowers like lotus & roses are some of the popular designs, which can be either carved along borders or can fill entire surfaces. The artistry of the carving and its abundance dictates the cost. The ranges of furniture can be from simple bed side table to a dining table or a double bed

Wood-carving is one of the most popular cottage industries of the Kashmir valley.

The Kashmiri specialty of woodcarving is Khatam-band which has the geometrical patterns on the ceilings of rooms. wood carvings beautifully done on the cabinets, chairs, tables, jewelry boxes and ornamental caskets produced in Kashmir. Wood carving is also done on a large scale on the doors, walls and windows of traditional Kashmiri houses.

Sericulture and tweed weaving is under the monitoring of the departments of State govt. thecocoon reared in Kashmir is yielding an extremely fine quality is nourished on fine mulberryleaves, Kashmir has a wide range of silk textiles of varied designs. The weaves popularly known as 'chinon' and 'crepe de chine' are of finest quality produced from the yarn.

Kashmiri has a wide range of verities in silk textiledesigns . The weaves popularly known as 'chinon' and 'crepe de chine' are some of the fine qualities produced from the silk yarn.

Sericulture industry is supervised by the state government of Jammu & Kashmir. As the state provides little raw-material for silk, weaving and printing of silk is not done on large scale in the valley.

But its a known fact that the Mulberry cocoon reared in the state of Jammu and Kashmir is the superior quality in the Asia. It yields a very fine fiber can be compares with the best in the world.

Willow rushes that grow in plenty in the marshes and lakes of Kashmir are used to make some beautiful objects, ranging from shopping baskets and lampshades to tables and chairs, all in affordable ranges.

Kashmiri willow baskets are decorated by mesmerizing intricate designs. Surprisingly strong, these baskets made by Willow rushes that grow in abundance in marshes and in lakes of Kashmir .

For local Kashmiri's use There is a covering case , made for the Kangri - an earthen pot in which burning coals are kept on a bed of ashes , these baskets can be used in homes or used as picnic hampers, lampshades, glass holders for holding tea, work baskets, packing cases and large presentation hampers

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