We use our own products every day. We believe in integrity and in providing quality products to our customers. We do not agree with cheap and low-quality products. We support our Indian artisans who carry out this wonderful artistic work.
Here are some of the warm words we receive in appreciation from our customers:
Extremely enchanting and unique – the first thought that would crop up in your mind after you witness the beauty of Kashmir art. So fine in its nature and unique in its elegancy, Kashmiri artisans create handicrafts and art pieces that set them apart from any other machine-made product. The artisans living in this beautiful land create pieces that are hand-made, some of which take even up to months to complete depending on the intricacy of the work involved. The art created ranges from shawls, carpets to hook work and embroidered products. However, most of these brilliant artisans are paid just peanuts for their precious work. And this is the story of majority of the artisans in the state.
History of Kashmiri Art of Weaving
The art of weaving took birth in the Kashmir Valley as early as the 15th century by the King who ruled the state during that time, Zain-ul-Abidin. He imported this fine art from Persia, and even today, the art created by the Kashmiri artisans follow the same intricate motifs and structure. The best part of this art is its needlework, which is fine and detailed. This art flourished during the Mughal period and continued even during the Sikh rule. But the tradition took a turn when British rule arrived in the early 19th century, which led to commercialization of hand-made products in Kashmir. The turmoil of 1989 gave a severe hit to the handloom industry when the military forces got locked in a long withdrawn conflict, creating a void in the lives of craftsmen.
Arts and Crafts – Today and Tomorrow
Kashmir is known across the globe for its splendid and unique work of arts. If you travel even through the most interior parts of the state, you will see the intricate pieces of art everywhere. Whatever you get to see in Kashmir has some kind of art on it. One can experience some of the most beautiful work on the Kashmiri clothes and shawls, which is too mesmerizing to be missed. Even the art done on steel ware, wood and paper is heart throbbing.
Perfect representation of Kashmiri art, Kashmiri carpets are famous worldwide. The impressive workmanship and the great quality material used in making these notable pieces make the carpets expensive. However, the intricate design and the artwork are worth every penny you spend on it.
The art has been passed from one generation to another, and in spite of the high-tech machines available today, the traditional weavers choose to hand weave the carpets. Even the designs on the carpets reflect a Persian touch and feel. One of the most commonly seen designs is that of the “tree of life”, which is quite unique in itself. Talking about the durability and the price, it all depends on its knotting. The more knots you see in a square inch, the higher is the price, and durability of the carpet. The carpets are generally made out of the finest wools, which were sometimes imported from Manchester, Scotland etc.
The entire process of weaving is quite laborious and involves times and effort, right from cultivation of wool to treatment and dyeing them. The person who designs the carpet is known as Nakaash, and a Kalimba is the weaver and a Ranger is someone who dyes them.
The art of weaving is practiced majorly in rural areas and villages of Kashmir, but the selling happens mostly in urban areas. The business owners buy these woven items and they are able to sell them at inflated prices.
Kashmir is also home to some of the best wood carvings, which is done on a variety of objects-ranging from furniture to articles such as cigar boxes, photo frames and so on. Walnut is the most common wood that is used for carving, and Kashmir being the only part of India where the walnut tree grows, is well known for walnut carvings. Its finesse, sheen and color are unique, and the work that is done on this wood is of the top-notch quality. The wood obtained from the walnut is almost black, and the grain is lighter in color. The branches, which are almost blonde, are the lightest in color, and have no noticeable grain.
There are various varieties of carving-deep – usually with lotus flower motifs; shallow carving, done all over the flat surface; open work, usually depicting the Chinar motif; and semi-carving, with a thin panel along the rim of a surface. And to add to the beauty, wax polishing brings out the inherent sheen of the wood.
The word shawl, derived from the Persian word “shal”, is known for fine woolen garments. These are worn and used as a warm protective garment all over India, and Kashmir has become well-known for fantastic shawls all over the world. Kashmiri Shawls are made out of pashmina, wool and shahtoosh, woolen shawls being the most modest budget shawls while shahtoosh being an expensive purchase. Woolen shawls are quite popular because of the hand-crafted embroidery worked on them, which is unique to Kashmir.
Kashmiri Pashmina shawl is one of the most famous handcrafted products of the state. These shawls are festooned with exquisite embroidery and are created with silky soft material. The commonly known types of embroidery that can be seen on the Pashmina shawls are Aari, Sozni and papier mache.
Apart from hand weaving and carvings, Kashmiris are very good at hand painting. Their Papier Mache painting is another amazing form of handicraft that has brought Kashmir widely known in different parts of the world. The process involved in creating these products is quite tedious and time consuming. However, the mere look of these splendorous objects itself will compel you to buy them. There are also cheaper versions of Papier Mache that are made up of cardboard, which is commonly used in making decorative items and other objects such as table lamps, boxes, etc. For someone who doesn’t know about the art much, almost all the papier mache objects look the same, however there is a price differential which depends on the quality of the product and the material used.
Life of Artisans in Kashmir
Although the artisans can be found in almost all the villages and rural areas of Kashmir, a far-flung hamlet in the district Baramulla, Puthaar has become quite famous as Kashmir’s craft village. Almost all the men and women in the village are associated with different types of artwork, which includes embroidery, craft work, wood work, carpet making etc. These skilled craftsmen and craftswomen of the village toil hard to earn their living. Though the work and effort they put in earns a whole lot of name for Kashmir, and India as a whole, these women and their families struggle for their survival and are not able to make their ends meet.
Being so common and popular to the masses, the handwork has turned into the identity of the state, and its impact can be very well seen in almost every dimension of life in Kashmir. Traditionally, the craft, which includes carpet marketing, carving etc. passes from parents to their children. However, these crafts are so interwoven with the culture of the state that the craft enterprises are referred to as the cultural industry of Kashmir. From 16th century itself, these crafts then be it embroidery, shawls, carpets, papier or wood carving, has helped the artisans to earn their livelihood, who are extremely passionate about their culture.
One of the biggest problem here is there hasn’t been any major technological growth and development in the sector for almost decades now. The way the artisans used to create the products in 16th century, it is being followed even today; the production process hasn’t changed much. Therefore, there is a strong need for technological transformations that can update the soft technology in the state, such as design and branding, and then we need hard technology like physical infrastructure that can improve efficiency. The artisans in Kashmir are replicating and using the old designs even today, while in other countries artisans are thriving on the latest designs and use of software technology. All these attributes are well-suited for the use of software technology. Additionally, there is also a need to upgrade the present infrastructure and include scientific transformation into the sector to improve the visibility and make it more workable.
What our craftsmen and artisans associated with this trade need is not industry status, but a model that focuses on all these attributes.
Therefore, it is important that we, the people of India, join hands and align our skill building with the requirements of our crafts sector. For instance, it is time that the schools and universities of Kashmir offer courses in Crafts Management to attract and create a talent pool that will professionalize this blooming market all around the world along modern lines.
And we, the people of the western world, will recognize this art and appreciate its quality, and add colors and spices from the east to our home.
Designed exclusively for Spices Home Decor by our very own designer in traditional Indian Kashmiri pattern. You’ll never find another napkin exactly like it. Crafters and decoupage artists will have a creative ball with this original design.
Our stainless steel kitchen utensils are HAND PAINTED meticulously crafted by Kashmiri artisans from India. India known to provide very traditional hand painted items, which are sold world-wide. They are known for their enriching and beautiful colors and designs. The Kashmiri artisans of India have uniqueness in their designs. They are very careful about the details of their design,in order to make it special, and making the piece unforgettably dazzling utensils.
Kashmir is a valley in the Himalayan Mountains with a rich and ancient heritage of craftsmanship. It is a land of unique motifs and designing techniques that have been transformed and perfected over centuries.
Our fabric products that will come soon are primarily made from three types of fibres: wool, pashmina and silk. The pashmina yarn, also famously known as ‘cashmere’, comes from the hair of the Himalayan goat, a rare animal living above 4,000 metres altitude, only found in Kashmir. A variety of blends of Kashmiri wool with pashmina, and silk with pashmina are also used to weave our semi-pashmina shawls and stoles . Some of the finest silks in the world also comes from Kashmir as sericulture and tweed weaving are among the major industries. As a matter of fact, untill the 1940s, this precious silk yarn produced in this Valley was exported all over Europe. Handicrafts in Kashmir have traditionally been family run businesses. While the women are closely involved in the wool spinning and embroidery, the men assist in plying the heavy hand looms. Once the products are woven, the shawls are sent to the dyers and go through a process of hand dyeing, which is done using natural colours. Kashmiri shawls and stoles are designed with earthy colours, but more recently, all other colour are also being used. After dyeing, the shawls and stoles go back to the craftsmen and then starts the intricate process of designing patterns using different sizes of needles depending on the kinds of embroidery.
Serving your guests drinks or snacks or carrying food to the table has never been so elegant.
Use this tableware directly on the table. The ideas are endless but our favorite is probably using it for our cold cuts, cheese, vegetables and fruits but feel free to use it for any kind of dish or offering you make.
Don’t sacrifice style for function in your kitchenware. Spices Home Decor believes tableware should be as exciting and full of flavor as the food it holds. When you’re not serving up something delicious, display it as a unique decorative bowl.
Our stainless steel serveware are manufactured from the best grade that exists for kitchen utensils. The finish is a mirror finishing, which prevents scratches over time and it has coated, which gives the products durability over time and safe use in your kitchen tableware.
Great value for every home
While other bowls are too small, too heavy, not safe to use. Stainless is the least likely to stain or break. Our handpainted bowls are easy to hold, serving rice or mixing pasta. While other metal bowls enter the kitchen cabinet after use, you can proudly display our hand painted bowl in your kitchen or in your living room table.
Try surprising friends
There’s nothing more impressive than showcasing handmade pieces in your home. Be sure to let your guests know that your handpainted and individually designed tableware were made by Indian craftsmen in colorful Kashmiri style.
Lovely packing – hand painted bag
You can take advantage of the bag that packs our products on the next occasion, whether you’re looking for the perfect gift to crown that birthday, anniversary, housewarming, or holiday, this is promised to be a smashing hit.
The perfect paper napkin to compliment all our hand painted designs
We are proud to introduce our latest designer napkins created to complement any of our enchanting, embellished dishes.
Imagine your dining table or coffee table adorned with both this beautiful hand painted serving tray and its matching decorative floral napkins.