Kanihama Craft Tourism Village | CFC Welcomes Tourists To See The Art Of Handweaving Kani Shawls

Kanihama Craft Tourism Village | CFC Welcomes Tourists to See The Art Of Handweaving Kani Shawls Kashmir Ahead reported from the Common Facilitation Centre (CFC) , Craft Tourism Village Kanihama. Here, Kani Pashmina shawls are woven by hand. Kani is the wooden spool with which Kani shawls are made. Hama means a village. Hence the name Kanihama, explained the expert at the Common Facilitation Centre. This centre has been recently opened and is an initiative of the Government to set up a craft village. Hence looms were installed so that a tourist gets a complete picture of how Kani shawls are made and why they fetch a high price. Currently around 300 weavers are working here at the CFC. A cluster is also run here which again the Government of India has sanctioned. There is a society in which around 44 old weavers work. All these people need supervision, said the expert. To weave a shawl the time frame involved depends on the design selected. Some designs take three to four months. Then there are some designs which take two to two and-a-half years to complete. The time spent depends on the intricacy of the design. Mostly we get orders from outside the country. We get orders from France, Australia, Germany, China and England. We only do hand spun pashmina. No machine is involved. This is pure stuff and we do not compromise with designs or raw materials, informed the expert. Kashmir Ahead team inquired about the price range of Kani shawls. At Kanihama, the shawls start from Rs 80,000. Depending on the design, a shawl can demand Rs 10 lakh too, said the expert. What is the interest of the young generation in making Kani shawls, you might ask. Among the young generation, there are five national awardees in our village, the expert stated. A lot of people have Merit Certificates too. So the contribution of the young generation is there in Kanihama. And the young generation wants to diversify it in a lot of ways. Many students from our country come, from NIFT too, to talk about diversification and opportunities in it. In the villages around us you will see someone or the other involved in the Kani shawl process. It is not necessary that they have a loom in their house. Somebody does spinning, someone dyeing, someone making Kanis. In Budgam district there are around three to four thousand Kani shawl weavers. Womenfolk mostly do work in their own homes because they do household chores and look after the children. And whenever they get time they do Kani work too. The pure Pashmina thread is wrapped around the wooden spool. The wooden spool or Kani is made of a special wood called Pastul. This wood is found in the forests here. This is an antiseptic wood even if it pierces there is no fear of tetanus or infection. Earlier we used to get the pure Pashmina from Ladakh from the Changpa area. Today, it is available in the local markets of Srinagar. Currently, the rate of handspun Pashmina is Rs 42,000 per Kg, said the expert. Kasmir Ahead reported how a Kani shawl is made and how much hard work goes in making one shawl.

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