Jammu and Kashmir

Famous Tapestry work dying a slow death in Kashmir

The famous Tapestry work in Kashmir is dying a slow death as most of the Tapestry knowing people have already chosen other jobs due to its low demand.

Artisans associated with this job said that they hardly are managing their livelihood and if the government won’t take steps, this art will die a slow death.

Two times state award winner in handicrafts Muhammad Hussain Mir from Fateh Kadel area of Srinagar told news agency—Kashmir News Observer (KNO), that he has been associated with Tapestry work from last 40 years and has learned this art from his father and grandfather.

This is France origin art brought here in 1930 brought here by some France citizen who trained some people here as well who later started their own workshops, he said.

Slowly and steadily dozens of people got trained in this craft and some even were engaged in government departments and there was good production and demand was very good, he said.

Later due to inattention from government as people who hardly know anything about Tapestry have been told to train people, how they can when they don’t know it, he said.

He said that cost of tapestry pieces depends on the material used as there are different quality materials available in the market besides that tapestry is known as to an alternative of carpet

An artisan hardly earns Rs 200-300 if he spends whole day on it on which it is very difficult for artisan to meet two ends, he said, adding that most of the people knowing this art have already choosen other jobs and just few are associated with it now, he said.

No one is now ready to learn this art and if immediate steps won’t be taken at an earliest, this art will die, he said.

This art has mostly foreign customers, he said, while requesting government to look into the matter at an earliest so that this art can be saved.

Notably, the style of tapestry making hand-embroidered tapestries is unique in Kashmir, as it does not resemble the process of manufacturing of rugs anywhere else in the world. Like many European countries, especially Spain, tapestries are made on looms.

Making of a tapestry piece in the Valley involves drawing a design on a paper, which is followed by tracing the same on the canvas for needle-work. Once this is done, it is tightened within a wooden frame with the help of nails.

The artists use needle-work embroidery mostly cross stitch to bring the designs to life. The entire piece is covered with embroidery, which bestows a look of painting more than an embroidered item—(KNO)

Jahangeer Ganaie

Jahangeer Ganaie is a Pulwama based journalist, currently south head with News agency KNO and owner of The Kashmir Scroll

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