Department of Tourism, Jammu and Kashmir

From the amusing trinket to a collector's item, you'll find it all in Srinagar. Row upon row of shops filled with handicrafts line the streets. The array is awesome. There are objects to suit every pocket, for the variety within each craft is wide.
 
While top-of-the-line products cater to the discerning, some handicrafts cater to the buyers with a modest budget. To the uninitiated, the difference between two shawls may be negligible and hardly worth the enormous disparity in price. However, the dealer knows exactly what he has in his showroom, knows how much skill, labour and material has gone into its fabrication, and so accordingly structures the price.
 
Kashmiri handicrafts are prized everywhere for their exquisite craftsmanship. Kashmir carpets, in both wool and silk with their Persian design, are a lifetime investment and the shoppers' selection range from the simple to the most extraordinarily intricate patterns handed down the generations.
 
Then there are papier-mвchй items ranging from jewellery boxes to mirror frames, a range of intricately carved walnut wood furniture and accessories, stone jewellery boxes, beautiful woollen shawls, crewel embroidery on furnishing material sold by the meter and more. Following is a brief description of the main handicraft legacy of Kashmir.
 
Kashmiri carpets are a long time investments. It can be as cheaper as u pay for a handkerchief or it can be the most expensive purchase of your Kashmir trip. But one thing is sure if you didn't buy a carpet during your visit you are surely missing the art of Kashmir, for what it is world renowned.
 
Kashmir is not the origin of carpet weaving the art come from Persia. These carpets are famous for two things- they are hand made and they are always knotted, never tufted, the more knots per square inch, the greater its value and durability. Also there are single and double-knotted carpets. A single knotted carpet is fluffier and more resistant to touch than the double knotted. Knotting of the carpet & yarn is the most important features. The yarn used normally is silk, wool or silk and wool. Woolen carpets always have a cotton base.
 
The fascinating combinations of colors & artistry makes the Kashmiri carpet a prized possession. Kashmiri shawls are decorated by various kind of embroideries Ari or hook embroidery; motifs are well-known flower designs and 'sozni' or needleworks, is finely done by experienced craftsman's material & fine embroidery causes the hike in prices.
 
You can get three main fibers types from which the Kashmiri shawls are made, these are - wool, Pashmina and most expensive Shatoosh. Pure wool shawls called raffal which have different counts of wool - 40, 60, 80 etc.,if the count increases so does the price . Pashina is known for its softness. Pashmina yarn is spun from the hair of the ibex found at 14,000 ft above the sea level, Pure pashmina is expensive but mixed pashmina with wool is less expensive. Shahtoosh, the legendary ‘ring shawl’ is famous for its lightness, softness and warmth. But it is a banned item now because hair of the Tibetan antelope's throat are painstakingly collected until there are enough for a shawl.
 
Kashmiri has a wide range of verities in silk textile designs . The weaves popularly known as 'chinon' and 'crepe de chine' are some of the fine qualities produced from the silk yarn.
 
Sericulture industry is supervised by the state government of Jammu & Kashmir. As the state provides little raw-material for silk, weaving and printing of silk is not done on large scale in the valley. But its a known fact that the Mulberry cocoon reared in the state of Jammu and Kashmir is the superior quality in the Asia. It yields a very fine fiber can be compares with the best in the world.
 
 
 
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About Jammu & Kashmir Tourism

The Department of Tourism, J&K is the main developmental, promotional and regulatory arm of the J&K Government. Its main role comprises of overall planning and execution of schemes for the development, up-gradation and improvement of the tourism infrastructure in different parts of the State.
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