Kashmiri embroidery or kashida is colourful and beautiful as Kashmir itself. Embroiders often draw inspiration from the beautiful nature around. The colours the motifs of flowers, creepers and chinar leaves, mango etc. are the most common ones. The whole pattern is created using one or two embroidery stitch styles.
Process and Stitches
The base cloth whether wool or cotton, is generally white or crème or other similar shades. Pastel colors are also often used. The craftsmen use the color shades often blending with the background. Thread colors are florals seen around.
Very few stitches are used on one fabric, one or two. At times the whole fabric is done in a single stitch type. These stitches are often called Kashmiri stitch. Kashmiri embroidery is known for the skilled execution of a single stitch. Chain stitch, satin stitch, the slanted darn stitch, stem, herringbone and sometimes the doori or knot stitches are used but not more than one or two at a time.
Sozni embroidery or dorukha is often done so skilfully that the motif appear both sides of the shawl each side having a different color. There is no wrong side. The same design is produced in different colors on both sides. Another type of needle embroidery is popularly known as 'papier mache' embroidery because flowers and leaves are worked in satin stitch in bright colors such as those of papier mache and each motif is then outlined in black. This is done either in broad panels on either side of the breadth of a shawl, or covering the entire surface of a stole.
A third type of embroidery is ari or hook embroidery; motifs here are the well-known flower design finely worked in concentric rings of chain stitch. This is same as colored Zari or ari embroidery.
By Kashland Member - Zahid Khan