Embroidery of Jammu & Kashmir

Embroidery of Jammu & Kashmir

Kashmir has a long tradition of embroidery. Embroidery can be found on garments like the phiran, and on tapestry, curtains, and household linen. The inspiration for this comes from the landscape and the embroidery is renowned for its beauty and richness. The main motifs in this region are cypress cones, almonds, chinar-leaves, and the lotus. Kashida is the general term for the embroidery. The designs have a dark outline and the sujni stitch used only when uniformity is desired on both sides, like in choice shawls. Zalakdosi is the chain stitch done with a hook, found on chogas (cloaks) and rugs. This has long and flowing designs. Vata-chikan is a buttonhole stitch which is used for thick fillings; the motifs include landscapes and hunting scenes. Do-rookha is a double-sided stitch, while amli embroidery in multicoloured threads is found in kani shawls. The beauty of the kani weave is enhanced with elaborate patterns and delicate fill-in stitches; the jali or lacy trellis adds to delicate charm. Gold or silver thread work is done around the necks of the gown or phirans, while chain- satin- and cross-filling stitches are used to do crewel work or namda on carpets; this is done with an awl and the embroidery is worked from underneath the fabric instead of from above. Embroidery is locally called as sozankari (from sozan meaning needle). Gabba is a floor covering made out of old blankets and appliqué is done on it with a hook along with chain stitches. Gabbas and namdhas have bold floral and geometrical designs on them. Shawls and furnishing fabrics are also embroidered. Pashmina shawls are embroidered with fine silk thread.

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