Artisans of Kashmir

Kashmiri  tradesman buy raw material from Ladhaki nomads and transport it to a special muslim community in Srinagar. Here it is washed, removed of long contaminating hairs, and spun into yarn by women. This process is sometimes automated.

Men weave the yarn into shawls. Weavers rightly consider themselves artists, as it is they who transforms raw material into a soft fine warm textile.The skills of these artisans have been honed for over five centuries, influenced each time by a new ruler, tradesman or invader – the Persians, the Moguls, Afgani traders and French importers.

Pashmeena weavers and embroiderers were once highly respected in Kashmiri society, this is not the case anymore. Their work is not considered of value in modern day Kashmir and they are often exploited. Middlemen make the profits. Their poor economic status has led them to discontinue this work, and encourage their children to take up other professions. Often in vain, as education is not affordable.

To watch the artisans at work please click on the links below.

Spinners Weavers Embroiders