A Crafting Paradise “Kashmiri Embroidery”
Kashmiri embroidery, also knows as Kashida, had its patronage in Persian and Mughal rulers. ‘Kashida’ in Persian means cursive writing. There is not much evidence to trace its origin but legend says that a Persian sufi saint brought the skill to Kashmir. It was initially only practiced in the workshops of the patrons, but gradually became a source of domestic employment, especially in the colder months when farming is not possible. From rugs to shawls, from bags to kurtis, all kind of apparel and home decor today features intricate Kashida work in all its vibrancy. Mostly done as a commercial craft, it is one of the reasons for an active tourism industry in Kashmir – international as well as Indian tourists flock to the paradise to get that unique piece of shawl or jacket with authentic Kashmiri embroidery, that is a style statement in itself.
Since Kashmir is undoubtedly the paradise of India, there is no dearth of motivation for the Kashmiri artisans to reflect the scenic beauty of Kashmir through threads. The picturesque flora and the variety of of migrating birds found in Kashmir finds expression in their skillful embroidery. Flowers, in all their variety and glory, occupy the craft – rose, lotus, hyacinth, iris, maple, vines, narcissus, in bright pastel colours. The Kashmiri tea-pot is a unique feature of Kashmiri embroidery. Animals and human figures are usually not part of their style of embroidery.
Famous for being done on silk and wool, Kashida is known for its simple stitches. The list includes satin stitch, chain stitch, and stem stitch; herringbone and darning are also sometimes used. Kashmiri embroidery is known for its effective execution of a single stitch, often called the Kashmiri stitch. Kashida is an umbrella term given to many kind of Kashmiri embroideries practiced across the state. Sozni, Crewel (Aari), papier mache are some of the popular kinds of embroidery with a huge global demand.
With over 45 Million people, employed directly, the handloom industry is one of the largest sources of employment generation in the country.Exports in textiles and apparel from India are expected to increase to USD 65 Billion by 2016-17 from USD 40 Billion in 2013-14. The total fabric production in India is expected to grow to 112 Billion square metres by 2016-17 from 64 Billion square metres in 2013-14. India’s fibre production in 2013-14 is 7 Million Tonnes and is expected to reach 10 Million Tonnes in 2016-17. It has been reported that net profit of Rs 3.81 crores was discovered from exports with kashmiri embroidery for the quarter ended December 2014 against loss of Rs2.67 crores in the natural calamity .
REASONS TO INVEST
- Increased penetration of organised retail, favourable demographics and rising income levels to drive textile demand.
- India enjoys a comparative advantage in terms of skilled manpower and cost of production over major textile producers.
- Abundant raw material and increasing demand for exports to boost fibre production.
- Abundant availability of raw materials such as cotton, wool, silk and jute.
With consumerism and disposable income on the rise, the retail sector has experienced rapid growth in the past decade, with many global players entering the Indian market.
The centers of excellence focused on testing and evaluation as well as resource centres and training facilities have been set up.
Changing lifestyles and increasing demand for quality products are set to fuel the need for apparel.
Source: Industrial Corridor