Chain Stitch and Crewel Furnishings
Because of the high quality of embroidery done on wall hangings and rugs, Kashmiri crewel work is in great demand all over the world.
Chain stitch, be it in wool, silk or cotton, is done by hook rather than any needle. The hook is referred to as ari, and quality for quality, hook work covers a much larger area than needle work in the same amount of time.
All the embroidery is executed on white cotton fabric, pre-shrunk by the manufacturers. The intrinsic worth of each piece lies in the size of the stitches and the yarn used. Tiny stitches are used to cover the entire area-the figures or motifs are worked in striking colors; the background in a single color, made up of a series of coin sized concentric circles which impart dynamism and a sense of movement to a design. The background fabric should not be visible through the stitches.
Crewel is basically similar to chain stitch. It is also Chain stitch done on White background, but here the motifs, mainly stylish flowers, do not cover the entire surface, and the background is not embroidered upon. Wool is almost invariably used in Crewel work and color ways are not as elaborate as in Chain stitch. They make excellent household furnishings being hand or machine washable.
Carpets and Rugs
Kashmir Hub offers you details of art and crafts of Kashmir, with special emphasis on carpets and rugs that are characteristic of the state of Jammu and Kashmir. The history of carpet weaving in Kashmir, both silk and woolen, dates back to the 1300's. It requires extensive skill and craftsmanship to be able to create these amazing rugs.
The two special features of these Kashmiri carpets are that they are hand woven and knotted and not machine made and tufted. The design and color specification used in these carpets is termed as Taleem. Most of the woolen carpets have a base made of warp and weft. The silk carpets have a base made of cotton.
Craftsmen create exclusive hand knotted carpets. It is said that carpet weaving is not an original Kashmiri craft and that it is believed to have come from Persia in the ancient times.
Intricate patterns create attractive mosaics on these rugs. Most of these carpets and rugs are priced according to the effort put in by the weavers and the extent of work done on them. Kashmiri Kashan carpets are also quite popular.
The finest materials are used for weaving these carpets. These include mulberry cocoon silk, weft and warp.
The chain stitch rugs, Kilim rugs and Kazaks are also quite popular all over the world.