Kupwara women becoming earning members through assistance from Govt schemes

The needlework artisans from Kupwara, Jammu and Kashmir have formed a society because of the support received from the J&K government. Now, hear these women beneficiaries Rubina Bano and Alia from Kupwara in J&K who have become self-reliant by utilising the schemes of the government. Earlier, they used to depend on their fathers, brothers or family members to provide them support. Today, not only do they earn but also teach this Kashmiri craft Zalakdozi/ Aari embroidery to other learners as well. As many as 10 artisans work on one craft piece which is all hand embroidered.

Kashida embroidery is the oldest art form to originate in Kashmir. It began in the early 11th century. These art forms of Kashmir embroidery are inspired by the beautiful landscape of Kashmir. The most common motifs used by artisans in these embroideries include cypress cones, almonds, lotus, and chinar leaves. Crewel embroidery-chain stitch is used greatly in creating bedcovers, pillow covers, rugs, curtains, cushions and many other accessories. These embroidery techniques historians argue were introduced through trade and foreign political rule. The eighth Sultan of Kashmir Zain-Ul-Abidin (1420-70) brought shawl and carpet weavers to Kashmir from Turkestan and Samarkand, respectively. It is believed he brought many artisans from Central Asia and these craftsmen introduced Zalakdozi/ Aari (Crewel and chain stitch) hook work embroidery to the Kashmir Valley during his rule.

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