Art and handicrafts
The arts and handicrafts of Jammu and Kashmir tell everything about the people of this state. The arts and handicrafts of the state have earned international popularity because of their uniqueness. Most of the population here is in some way or the other involved in making handicrafts. Reflecting the rich cultural heritage of Jammu and Kashmir, the arts and handicrafts remain major tourist attractions, and there is a wide range of it here.
The embroidered shawls of Kashmir are renowned in all parts of the world. They fall into three different categories: Woolen, Pashmina, and Shahtoosh. The Pashmina and Shahtoosh are known for their fine quality (softness, warmth and lightness) which makes them quite expensive. Different types of embroideries such as 'sozni' and Ari or hook are done on them. Birds, trees, architectural designs and mythological figures are the popular themes used for embroidery. Jamawar is a kind of shawl,which is decorated with colorful embroidery on both the sides. Embroidered silk shawls are also available here.
Carpets woven in Kashmir are sold in all parts of the world. In Kashmir, carpets are available in cotton, wool and pure silk. Most of the carpet designs are tilted towards Persian designs.
The craftsmen of Kashmir are veterans in the art of wood carving. Wood carving is mainly done on walnut wood and the most popular designs carved on the wood are dragon, lotus flower etc. There are two types of wood carving practiced here: deep carving and shallow carving. Beautifully carved chairs, tables, jewelery boxes etc are available in the markets of Kashmir.
Papier Mache is a well known handicraft of Kahmir which is quite famous in the European countries. Some of the papier mache handicrafts are bed lamps, pen boxes and decorative items.
Willow Work or Wickerwork
Beautiful baskets, tables, chairs etc made from the willow is a great handicraft of the state. The Hazratbal area of Srinagar city in Kashmir is famous for this work.