Arts and crafts
|The richly embroidered 'neck' of a pheran. This pheran, a garment somewhere between a coat and a cloak, is eminently suited to the Kashmiri way of life, being loose enough to admit the inevitable brazier of live coals (the kangri) which is carried around in much the same way as a hot water bottle. Men's pherans are always made of tweed or coarse wool. Women's pherans, somewhat more stylized, are most commonly made of raffel. with splashes of ari or hook embroidery at the throat, cuffs and edges.|
Kashmir's long and eventful history has left a very markedimpression on its arts and crafts industry. Over the centuries,Kashmir has been influenced by the Hindu, Buddhist and Islamiccultures. As a result, the arts and crafts that have flourishedhere include miniature painting, carpet weaving, paper making,papier mache, weaving of shawls, metal work and jewellery.
Carpets and Shawls
|Kashmiri arts and crafts.|
Kashmiri carpets are world renowned
for the facts that they are hand made,
never machine made;
and they are always knotted, never tufted.
Some of the most famous crafts are the Kashmiri carpets andKashmiri shawls, made of Pashmina and other fine wools. Both arecrafts that have been handed down over the centuries by the famedweavers of Persia. As a result, the patterns reproduced aresimilar to the Persian styles. In fact they are adaptations ofPersian, Turkish and Turkman designs. Kashmiri carpets areespecially famous because of their fine workmanship. Workersstart at an early age and go on to make their living in theindustry. However, the recent political trouble in the region hasaffected the crafts industries greatly.
The Amar Mahal Palace is home to some of the finest miniaturepaintings of the region. The Baholi miniatures are some of thefinest collections of hill miniatures in the world. They portraythe epic love saga of Nala and Damayanti. The exquisite detailsof the paintings are a delight to the eye.