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5 handicrafts that add to the beauty of Jammu and Kashmir

Last Updated on January 7, 2022 at 5:49 pm

Jammu and Kashmir is not only having snow covered mountains, scenic beauty, beautiful picturesque corners but is also a home to many handicrafts that adds to its beauty.  A variety of art, techniques and crafts are flourished in the land and is a place of many skilled craftsmen. Today Kashmir is known for woolen textiles, Pashmina shawls, embroidered suits, Kashmir silk saris, papier mache, woodcarving, hand knotted carpets and lots of other traditional crafts.

Here are five famous handicrafts one must know about-

  1. Hand-knotted carpet-

Kashmir’s hand knotted carpets are surely a piece of art as they are handmade and they are always knotted, never tufted. The yarn used normally is silk, wool or silk and wool. Woolen carpets always have a cotton base while silk usually have cotton base and blend of colors makes the Kashmiri carpet even more beautiful. More are the knots per square inch, the greater its value and durability.

2. Pashmina-

Pashmina is a warm fabric taken from fleece of the Himalayan mountain goat (the pashmina goat). Best pashmina is obtained from the soft, downy undercoat that grows primarily on the neck and belly of the goat. Everyone has heard about the famous pashmina shawls and is very popular. It is usually woven in three patterns – twill or ‘sade bunai’, the popular diamond or ‘cheshm-e-bulbul’ and the special herringbone style or ‘gada kond’. The raw wool is turned into a fine shawl through an elaborate process and is a specialised job as the softness has to be retained through every step.

3. Walnut wood carving-

One of the most important crafts which is considered in Kashmir is of walnut wood carving. Kashmir is blessed to have walnut trees grow in its lap. The artisans of Kashmir have been using it to produce a variety of handcrafted products. A variety of articles, both decorative and utilitarian, ranging from small items like bowls, trays, cigarette boxes, wall plaques and table lamps to screens, bedsteads and larger items of furniture are carved in walnut wood. Four main types of carving are usually practised in Kashmir-raised, engraved, undercut and plain.

4. Papier mache-

One of the most popular crafts in Kashmir is Papier Mache and has its origin rooted in the 15th century.  To make Papier Mache, first 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. Paper that has been pounded to pulp has the smoothest finish in the final product.  The product range covers ring boxes, pill boxes, boxes of assorted shapes and sizes, flower vases, wall plaques, bowls, ashtrays, screens etc.

5. Chain stitch-

Chain Stitch known as “Jalakdozi”, chain stitch rugs are one of the specialty of Kashmir. These rugs are made on hand made cotton cloth, in continued stitch with superior woolen or silken yarn, with the help of a hook type tool natively called “Aurah”. Some of the commonly available products include curtains, bed spreads, cushions, pillow covers, throws, etc.