HANDICRAFTS OF NEELUM VALLEY

The Valley of Jammu and Kashmir is not only rich in cultural and ethnic diversity but also its Art has countless shades, which are nurtured through the centuries till date. The Art has gets more and more diversified and modern day by day. Kashmir is famous for its Tweed Textiles, Pashmina Shawls, Embroidered Suits, Kashmiri Silk Saris, Papier Mache, Wood Carving Crafts, Hand Woven Carpets and a lot of other traditional handicrafts.

  •  Carpets:

Kashmiri Carpets is traditional asset and famous for two reasons; firstly, these are completely hand-made and secondly these are knotted manually, not tufted. The carpets are made up of silk yarn or cotton ( as well as woolen) yarn and both the categories have a cotton base. However in case of silken base the price of the carpet increases proportionately. The color combination is always eye-catching that make the Kashmiri carpets a wonderful genre. The carpet-weaving skills instilled in Kashmiri Artisans originally from Persia, which are reflected from the local Patterns with sophisticated touch of Persian variation in the Carpeting.

kashmiri carpet

  • Namda:

It is a traditional colorful floor covering, made up of woollen and cotton fibre, which has been manually moulded into desired shape. It is decorated as a rug on the carpets,  in the corridors and on the tiled floor of the houses. Its prices vary with the genre of the wool, for instance, a Namda is more expensive which contains 80% of wool than that of containing 20% of wool. The rugs are often embroidered with chain stitch embroidery and mainly woollen and cotton threads are being used.

Kashmiri Namda Work

  • Papier Mache:

Papier Mache is an ancient Art. Papier Mache products are fabricated through moulding a paper. Firstly a piece of paper is soaked in the water until it starts getting disintegrated, then pounded it well with hands and mix an adhesive solution into it. Spread it over a mould and allow it to get dried so that it could take a proper shape. After getting drying, apply bright, glossy and shiny paint or varnish on the product with artistic designing, to smoothen its surface and enhancing its beauty.

kashmiri papier mache

  • Shawls:

Kashmiri Shawls are famous all over the world for their quality, tenderness and delicacy. These are fabricated through three types of fibres, namely Wool, Pashmina and Shahtoosh. Woollen Shawls are cheaper version, while Shahtoosh is the most expensive one. Woollen Shawls are popular speciality of Kashmir and the embroidery and quality of wool is matchless, which determines the price of the Shawls. Pashmina Shawls are produced from yarn spun from the hair of the ibex, collected from the high mountains (14,000 feet). The hair sticked and fasten to the shrubs, while Ibex are grazing there and carefully picked, one by one. Shahtoosh (Ring Shawl) is distinguished for its thin lightness, softness and warmth.

kashmiri shawls

  • Crewel work: Crewel work is a typical Kashmiri Art and it is in great demand all over the world. The pre-shrunk white cotton fabric is adored with the embroidery. The price of every piece is depends upon the size of the stitches and the quality of the yarn. Chain stitch embroidery is created with wool, silk or cotton threads. Instead of usual needle, a hook is used in the embroidery and applied on the fabricated decoration pieces like wall hangings, furniture coverings and rugs.

crewel work

  •        Tweeds: Tweed is a coarse cloth, woven with pure and non-blended woollen threads. On the other hand the silk-worms, reared in Kashmir, produce one of the superior quality fibre and its fineness speaks itself. The Silk is recognized as Chinon (Crepe De Chine).

silk tweeds

  •        Pherans:

That is a coat-like or a cloak-like dress worn by Kashmiri folk. It is often loose enough to place a Kangri (a small mud-basket with coals embers, which is carried like a hot water bottle) in the winters. Pherans for men are produced with a tweed or coarse wool, on the contrary woman-Pherans are fabricated with Ari (Hook) embroidery on the neck, cuffs and edges of the Pherans. The quality of embroidery and thickness of the thread determines the price of the Pherans.

pheran

  •        Basketry:

Basketry is another renowned handicraft in the Kashmir Region. It is created through willow stripes. It includes the attractive and colorful decoration pieces like baskets, table lamps, wall-hangings, pen-holders, cutlery-holders etc.

Basketry

  •  Walnut Wood Carving:Walnut Wood is unique in its color, intrinsic designs and sophisticated look. Kashmiri Artisans are famous for carving and crafting wood-work, especially on walnut wood.It speaks aloud in its designing and volume of quality work.

kashmiri walnut carving

  • Naqash Crafting: Naqash is a Kashmiri Art of ancient origin. It is seen on the walls, floors and even in the ceiling, of the local homes and other buildings in the Valley. Naqash are crafted on the house-hold items like samovars, bowls, plates, ash-trays and decoration pieces etc. with floral, geometric, leafy and even calligraphic motif-designing. It is crafted mainly on a copper or a silver base.
  • copper and silverware

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