Jammu and Kashmirs Handicrafts
Jammu and Kashmir is one of the most beautiful destinations of India. However, this paradise on earth has always been in controversy due to terrorism and political turmoil. Nevertheless, there are many other things about this beautiful land to talk about such as its picturesque landscape, its gorgeous people, and its attractive art and crafts. Tourism has been one of the most revenue generating industries in Jammu and Kashmir, which has become slow in the past few years. However, the industry is gaining back its position as more and more local as well as international tour tourists are flocking here these days. With the rise in tourism, the handicraft industry of Kashmir is also getting boast.
Jammu and Kashmir handicrafts
The handicrafts of Jammu & Kashmir Handicrafts include some vibrant hand-made crafts, which symbolize the cultural significance of the state. The craftsmen of Jammu and Kashmir have mastered in making items like carpets, baskets, wall hangings, shawls and much more. The handicraft industry of the state is thriving and it provides employment to a large mass of local people of the valley.
Papier mache is a very old form of handicrafts in Jammu & Kashmir, which is equally popular in the state. The original art of papier mache, which uses original gold painted items are quite expensive. However, there are many replicas being created and sold in local market at low prices as well.
Other appealing crafts of J&K include carpets, woven with wool or silk yarns. This art of knotted carpet making has reached the valley from Persia and portray the creativity of Persian craftsmen. .
Embroidery is another traditional handicraft of Jammu and Kashmir. Intricate yet wonderfully beautiful embroidery on cotton fabrics looks amazing. This handicraft makes lovely wall hangings as well as other garments. Another popular craft of Kashmir is the basket making. Baskets are made up of skin of willow trees, which are found in abundance in the state.
Moreover, with a huge demand in national as well as international market, Pashmina shawls are the leading and most sought after handicraft of Jammu and Kashmir. These shawls are liked by most tourists due to their vibrant designs and variety of stitching work.
The popularity as well as the importance of Kashmiri Shawls in the handicraft market of Jammu and Kashmir is very old. These delicate shawls are soft and comfortable to use and has a great demand in the international market. The making of these shawls is not an easy task, as it requires a lot of concentration and patience. The embroidery in these shawls is done by colorful threads and the raw material is hand weaved before using for embroidery. Most of these shawls are made of three fibers, namely, wool, Pashmina and Shahtoosh. After that, they are decorated with different motifs and embroidery. These are rare and unique shawls with peculiar charm and interesting designs.
The popularity of the Kashmir’s art and craft is high also because of world-renowned hand made Kashmiri Carpets. These carpets are unique because they are made with hand without any use of machine. The artisans use yarn that is mostly silk, wool or a combination of the two for making these carpets. The very fine finishing of the carpets makes them worthy of the exorbitant price that are charge for a single carpet. Nevertheless, having one such carpet is like a possession for life. The art of carpet weaving has reached Kashmir from Persia, which is evident from the designs that have a tint of Persian influence. The color of most Kashmiri Carpets is subtle and multed, thereby making them distinct from carpets produced in rest of the country.
Papier Mache is made up of pulp of paper and adhesive. This is another popular craft of Jammu and Kashmir introduced in the valley in the fifteenth century. This is made by soaking paper in water for days till it falls to pieces. Once done, this paper is crushed and mixed with an adhesive solution, which is then given different shapes over moulds. Later, this final product is dried, painted and polished before selling in the market. This popular craft comes in varied designs, colors and artwork and are of different range.
Namdas is another form of craft in the valley. These are rugs or mattresses that are less costly then carpets and are made up of cotton and woolen fiber. These fibers are manually pressed into shape. These rugs are used as floor covering and are adorned with chain stitch embroidery done with woolen and cotton threads.
Kashmir also creates some unique variety of Basketry and other objects like lampshades, tables, chairs and so on. These are made from willow rushes or straw grass and twigs grown abundantly in the lakes and marshes of Kashmir.
Chain Stitch, commonly known as “jalakdozi” is a stitch done with the help of a hook. This stitch mostly bears long flowing designs of embroidery on hand woven cloth base. The embroidery is done on traced designs of flower along with animal and human forms. This popular stitch is done on rugs, wall hangings, cushion covers, throws, duvets covers, kettle covers and so on.
Khatumbandh is another art of Kashmir, which involves the art of making ceiling with the help of small pieces of wood, which are fitted into each other. This art requires very hard work
Manufacturers of Jammu and Kashmir handicrafts
1. Kashmir Arts and Crafts manufactures Kashmiri basketry, walnut wood handicrafts, shopping baskets, lamp shades, tokris, tokras, cigarette boxes, cigar boxes, and so on
Address: Khayaban, Humhama, New Airport Road,, Srinagar, Jammu & Kashmir
2. Sheikh Enterprises manufactures handicrafts such as pashmina shawl, stole and scarves, chain stitch rugs, cushion cover, curtain, embroidered bag, papier mache, home furnishing, wall hanging and so on.
Address: Channa Mohalla Chattabal, Srinagar, Jammu & Kashmir
Exporters or export industry of Jammu and Kashmir handicrafts
1. Kashmir Valley Arts exports crewel embroidered fabric, pashmina shawl, furnishing, duvet cover, cushion cover, throws, bedspread, rugs, chain stitch rugs and other handicraft items
Address: Malik Sahib, Safa Kadal, Srinagar, Jammu & Kashmir
2. Diamond Silks deals in Exporting Kashmiri shawls, embroidered shawls and other dress materials, pashminas, embroidered bags, carpets, wall hangings and other Kashmiri handicrafts.
Address: Ram Bagh Balla, Srinagar, Jammu & Kashmir
Handicrafts of Jammu and Kashmir are of huge demand both domestic as well as international market. Kashmiri silverware, especially ornamental picture-frames, is in great demand in the markets of United States, European countries and Australia
Kashmir Art ad Crafts: