‘Kasheeda’ is a Persian word meaning embroidery or drawing used mostly in the context of the hand embroidery done in the beautiful region of Kahsmir, which traces its origin as early as eleventh century and till date forms one of the most refined form of embroidery for garments.
This precious art of embroidery gained its full glory during the reign of Sultan Zain-Ul-Abidin in the 15th Century, when mesmerized by the beauty of the embroidery practiced in the valley he brought craftsmen from other regions like Iran and Afghan to add variety and refinement. This helped the household art of embroidery to become an industry for the region with patrons not just in the India, Asia but also as far as Europe, considering Europe was far in the 15th Century.
Kasheedakari, as it is popularly known as, takes its patterns and colour from the beauty nature has generously bestowed on the region in the form of birds, blossoms and flowers, creepers, chinar leaves, ghobi, mangoes, lotus, and trees. A signature motif for Kasheedakari comes from the maple leaves and lotus flowers in various vibrant colours along with the traditional paisley motifs.
The embroidery is primarily done in two patterns, namely the Aari and the Sozni. Aari embroidery consists of concentric strings of chain stitch using a long hooked needle known as crewel, while sozni is embroidered in satin stitch using the traditional needle. These embroideries are made on all ranges of items staring from scarves, stoles, sarees, pherans to upholsteries.Threads used comprise of silk or fine wool in pastel shades.
Craftsmen engaging in the art usually have generations working. It is very usual to find 3rd or 4th generation from the same family serving the art which just adds to already the rich legacy.
With such glorious past, traditional heritage and finest craftsmanship, however, the art and artists are suffering with the change of times. The Kashmiri pedlars, who used to be a common sight few years back, are struggling to sell their goods and reach the customers.
We at Rang Riwaaz came across Khursheed and Rameez, which is when we came to realize the difficulties these artists are facing. They had numerous tales of how have they been declined entries to various societies for security reasons, and how customers find their products so overpriced when compared with the modern day alternatives. The season was turning out to be almost over without any sales, when we tried to provide them a platform to sell.
For a brief story, Khursheed and Rameez sell specimens produced by a family Mohd. G. M. Ghulam Rasool and Farooq Ahmed, who themselves are aged 40-50 and are third generation practicing Kasheedakars. They come all the way from Pahalgam to Delhi region to sell Kashmiri garments, which comprise of shawls, suits, pherans and sarees.
It is our attempt to help them provide with a platform to connect with customers. We are happy to facilitate your interaction or you may directly contact them at the numbers listed below:
Rameez: +91 – 9560 465 576 and Khursheed: +91 – 9821 526 751
It would be a great pleasure if we are able to help you with any queries you may have on the same.
To begin with we worked with our security guards to allow them a permit to at least visit our studio, where in we helped them connect with few customers which gave them sales and also helped our clients avail these wonderful products.
We have also shared our platform for their sarees, which gives us an oppurtunity to bring these wonderful works of are to our on-line client base. These sarees take one to one and a half month to complete depending on the work and richness and are made on a wide range of fabrics like Georgette, Chignon, Crepe, Silk and Pashmina. You may select a product of your choice from our selected georgette saree in Kashmiri Kasheeda....