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Kashida Embroidery

Known to be one of the most ancient and traditional type of intrinsic art, Kashida Embroidery, also spelled as Kasida defines its cultural essence through the medium of bead and threadwork, which has gained maximum popularity, fame and recognition in the ethnic land of Jammu and Kashmir. The purest essence and forms of nature like birds, leaves, trees and many such natural motifs are replicated in this embroidery with multi colored threads and beads woven into the fabrics like shawls and saris.

Kasida Worker

Kashida Worker (Source: dostpakistan.pk)

Origin and History

The land of Kashmir etched its beautiful essence in the form of Kashida embroidery into the fashion world way back in the Mughal period which was patronized by the emperors and the royals of that era. However if we go further up along the paths of historical archives of fashion, it can be found that this embroidery was also creatively initiated by the residents of Srinagar. Intrinsic needlework and quality was webbed into the finest maze of creativity and innovation using a wide spread of colors and patterns which intertwined the mood and spirits of the craftsmen with the essence of the pure nature, and that too through the traditional form of embroidery which involved the role of one or two styles of embroidery stitching.

Style

Single stitch style is considered to be the signature style of Kashida Embroidery. Besides there are many other stitches like satin stitch, herringbone, stem stitch, chain stitch, knot stitch and many more which are also creatively implemented. These stitches are however not executed more than twice. There are many other intrinsic styles like sozni work, papier mache work and even hook or ari work which comes under the wings of this embroidery style, as traditional motifs like animals, birds, flowers, and fruits are woven into the fabric with the threads of gold, silver and other metallic colored threads which replicate the sheer essence of the mystic nature.

Influence over the years

This delicate and traditional form of art was taken up by the younger men of Kashmir as a hereditary ownership from their ancestors. Simple shawls were given to them as a platform to exhibit their talent, which gradually enhanced their skill over a period of time, as they took over the other royal traditional fabrics like saris and various related garments. Slowly and gradually with the passing years, embroidery composition and its related style, structure and color combinations took over the transformation route and showcased different form of variations that suited the changing generations. Persian and Kashmiri embroidery blended its essence together and came out with various forms of nature influenced motifs and designs which defined the Indo Persian floral pattern and design outlook in the artwork of Kashida.

Innovations

This intricate Kashmiri embroidery enhanced the beauty of garments onto higher and trendier levels with the passing years. This embroidery was also witnessed on cushion covers, veils, bed covers, curtains, carpets, bags, dress materials and many other articles of daily and personal purposes, besides silk sarees, jackets, stoles and shawls. Symbols inspired by the surroundings, and motifs are now woven in different shapes and sizes keeping the trend quotient up on higher levels.

Kasida Embroidery

Kasida Embroidery (Source: coroflot.com)

Wearing Kashida

Different festivals like Diwali, Holi, Navaratri and other folk festivals have over several years witnessed the beauty of Kashida embroidered outfits donned by the women population of Kashimir. Besides, even traditional ceremonies and rituals can be complimented with this artwork, as it possesses the ability to mold with any environment or season.

Global Influence

Crediting to the influence of nature in such intrinsic artworks, international markets have also recognized and appreciated the beauty of this Kashmiri embroidery, which has also managed to floor the international masses across the globe. As this embroidered fabric can go along with every season of the year without compromising on comfort and convenience, the demand quotient for this embroidery has risen in numbers in every pocket of the world.

Accessorizing

Heavy pendant silver jewelry and neck sets compliment the look of this embroidery. Besides, costume jewellery and pearls can also enhance the beauty of the embroidery by maintaining the ethnicity of the entire look.

Chronicles of the future Foretold

Kashmiri embroidery foresees a profitable future in the long run. As this artwork is famously executed on shawls, which has captured majority of the garment markets globally, there will come a time when this artwork will be considered as ‘the’ selling trend of the fashion industry.

Kasida Embroidery

Kashida Embroidery (Source: swankvintage.com)

Interesting Facts and Comparisons

  • Initially it was men who initiated this artwork into the embroidery world.
  • Famous Bollywood movie ‘Kashmir Ki Kali’ showcased this artwork on the outfits worn in the movie.

References

Categories:   Motifs & Embroideries

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