Unique Kashmir Handicrafts – NewsGram

Traditionally, the people and craftsmen of Kashmir create, make and decorate items by hand, known as “Kashmir handicrafts”. According to their culture, Kashmiris have traditionally made a variety of handicrafts from simple objects and materials. There are many notable areas such as textiles, carpets, crewel embroidery, silverware, carpentry, and papier-mâché, among others. Many Kashmiri artisans depend on their handicrafts as a means of survival. Kashmiri handicrafts will not only add beauty to your wardrobe and home, but they will also make great souvenirs and gifts for your friends and family.

Here are some of the crafts you should include on your to-do list:

Paper mache: Kashmir papier-mâché is a craft that Mir Sayyid Ali Hamadani brought to medieval India from Persia in the 14th century. It is mostly made of paper pulp and is a very ornate and vibrant item; it is often seen in the form of vases, bowls or cups, boxes, trays and lamp bases.


Paper mache is often seen in the form of vases, bowls or cups, boxes, trays, and lamp stands. | Mahyah Binti Idris

Walnut wood carving: Kashmiri walnut wood carving is a beautiful art of wood carving practiced in Kashmir. With the native Kashmir walnuts, it’s only natural to expect artisans to use them to create a range of handmade items. Tables, jewelry boxes, trays and other objects, including beds and doors, are carved from walnut wood.

Walnut carving on the bed

Tables, jewelry boxes, trays and other objects, including beds and doors, are carved from walnut wood. | Mahyah Binti Idris

Pashmina shawl: As late as the 15th century, Muslim craftsmen from Turkestan brought shawls to Kashmir, establishing a long-standing trading relationship. The third Mughal emperor Akbar brought in Persian experts who helped improve the native art and methods of making shawls and rugs. Kashmir’s woolen textiles, especially its finest quality shawls, were and continue to be made primarily from Pashm or Pashmina, the wool of Capra hircus, a type of wild Asian mountain goat native to the region. Accordingly, the shawls are called “Pashmina”.

Cashmere shawl

Third Mughal Emperor Akbar brought in Persian experts who helped improve native art and methods of making shawls and rugs | Wikimedia

Namda: Namda consists of many layers of wool that are flattened on top of each other. Once a layer has been placed, it is sprinkled evenly with water and flattened. It is then adorned with the stunning Kashmiri Aari embroidery, which adds a lovely finishing touch. Namda making is a family heirloom that has been passed down from generation to generation. Majority of namda manufacturing facilities in Srinagar are concentrated in the old city.

Namda

Namda making is a family heirloom that has been passed down from generation to generation | pinterest

Crewel Embroidery: Crewel embroidery, also known as crewelwork, is a kind of needlepoint embroidery that uses wool as the thread. It is used on curtains, grace shawls, wall hangings, namdas or tunics.

Curtain with crewel work

Crewel work is used on curtains, grace shawls, wall hangings, namdas or tunics. | Mahyah Binti Idris

Kashmiri artisans work very hard to provide the best possible product to their customers. The valley has a long and illustrious history of arts and crafts. So, the next time you plan a trip to Kashmir, don’t forget to pick up some handicrafts. These items can be found in various shops in the city center and on the roads leading to the main tourist attractions in the valley.

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Keywords: Cashmere, crafts, papier mâché, pashmina, shawl, woodcarving, wood, crewel, curtain