So unique and so enchanting, will be the first thought that crosses your mind after you witness any form of arts and crafts of Kashmir. Most famous and most visible are the Pashmina shawls, carpets, handicrafts, woodcarving and clothes worn by the locales. Come and explore the rich art and craft of Kashmir and take home few of the most memorable artifacts and best memorabilia of your life.
The state of Jammu and Kashmir is famous the world over for its unique and splendid work of art and crafts. Travel through even the remotest parts of the state will give an insight into the world of art and craft in Jammu and Kashmir. Just about everything that is seen in Jammu and Kashmir has some kind of art work done on it. The most prominent is the embroidery work on the shawls and the cloths of Kashmiri people are very mesmerizing to be not noticed. You will also see the work of magic in wood works, steel wares, Papier-mache.
Papier Mache is another form of handicraft that has brought J& K wide acclaim from all regions of the world. To make Papier Mache objects, the process is very long and tedious. First, the paper is soaked in water until the time it completely dismantles. The paper is then mashed and is mixed with an adhesive solution. The pulp is then molded into the desired shape and is dried. The outlay of the object is now ready. Now is the time for artisans to color it and draw intricate and brilliant designs on it. The product is now ready to hit the market. The first look at these splendorous object itself will compel you to make them your own. There are cheaper versions of Papier Mache as well that are made up of cardboard. Pen boxes, table lamps, showpieces and other decorative items are few that are made from Papier Mache.
A Kashmiri Carpet is well known the world over and is a perfect representative of the Kashmir arts and crafts. The fine workmanship of the carpets and the materials like fine wool and silks used for making them makes the carpet prohibitively expensive for many. But if you are lucky enough to pick a Kashmiri carpet during your shopping tours for Kashmir arts and crafts, you can always rest assured of having a collector’s item in your possession.
Kashmiri silk and woolen carpets have intricate designs woven on them. The wall hangings have naqqashi work done on them and are a favorite with tourists. The jamavar work that is done by artisans on silk and woolen shawls is characteristic of the state of Kashmir.
Wood Carving industry has grown by leaps and bounds in the last few years in J&K. In fact, wood carving industry of J&K is the most famous in the entire country. The Walnut wood is considered the best wood for carvings. Not only because it is readily available, but even after excessive carvings, the wood retains its strength. The main attraction of woodcarvings is the woodwork on the ceiling of the rooms. The technique for this work is immensely complicated and the end product is equally mesmerizing. This kind of woodcarving is called Khatam Band. Woodcarving can also be seen on chairs, tables, jewelry boxes and on anything and everything that is made of woods.
The finest shawls in the world are made in Kashmir. The shawls, made of sheep wool and Pashmina wool, are known the world over for their fine texture and soft colors. The woolen shawls, affordable for the most part, are popular due to the elaborate craftsmanship displayed on the panels along the shawl. Pashmina shawls, made from wool sourced from the high latitude Ibex, are loved for their fine texture. Though pure Pashmina is expensive, mixed Pashmina is affordable for the most part. The third kind of Kashmiri shawl, the Shahtoosh, is a banned item since its popularity led to the near extinction of the Chiru deer, from which the wool for the shawl is sourced.