Saturday, November 08, 2008
The Kashmir valley, a natural paradise full of flowers and maple trees, produces the best hand embroidery work in India. The artisans draw inspirations from the beautiful nature around. The 'boteh' (flower) or 'ambia' (mango) motifs are the most favored one of the Kashmir designers. The colors used are those of the flowers of the valley. An emphasis on pastel shades on a white background is always preferred.
Fine embroidery work is done in shades discreetly blending with the background shades. Looking beyond their own liking and preferences, the craftsmen very often use bright and dark shades both as a background and as embroidery colors. Very few stitches are used. Sometimes the entire scarf is embroidered in one single stitch. Very seldom one finds a combination of more than two embroidery styles on one object. The stitches are so typical of the region that they are frequently termed as the 'Kashmiri Stitch'. Kashmiri embroidery is therefore remarkable for the skilled execution of a single stitch rather than the elaborate quality of the stitch itself. Chain stitch, satin stitch, the slanted darn stitch, stem, herringbone or sometimes the 'doori' or knot stitches are used. The excellence of the needlework is most remarkable in the creation of a 'dorukha' or a double-sided scraf. In this scarf, there is no right and wrong side. The same design is produced in different colors on both sides.