Kashmir rightfully occupies a special place among the Indian centers of weaving. The mesmerizing beauty of Kashmir’s nature has inspired local artisans for centuries. Residents of Kashmir, who are distinguished by their special hospitality, like to repeat: “If there is no Kashmir carpet in the house, there is no soul in the house.”
The most common motif on Kashmiri carpets is the tree representing life, the so-called tree of life. You can also observe stylized images of birds and animals, hunting scenes, fantastic flowers.
Kashmiri carpets can be distinguished from carpets woven in other regions of India by their sophisticated design and very rich colors. Juicy red, mustard yellow, ivory, emerald green and azure blue, Kashmir carpets real works of art are known all over the world.
Only mineral dyes are used to dye the yarn. Srinagar is a major carpet-making center in the region.
Handcrafted silk carpets of Kashmir are renowned for their extraordinary softness. The cost of such knotted carpets is quite high, because they take a huge amount of time to create and, as a rule, a very experienced craftsman.
An ordinary Kashmiri silk carpet contains 80% silk and 20% cotton in the warp threads. More than 400 knots need to be tied to make one square inch of such a canvas. And carpets, woven entirely of silk, contain even more knots up to 1600 per square inch.
The lifespan of the carpet and the price of it depend on the number of knots woven in one square inch of fabric, and accordingly, the skill of the weaver.
Wool carpets are also made in Kashmir. They are based on cotton threads, where thousands of knots of woolen yarn are tied. Silk is sometimes added to the yarn to give a woolen carpet a crisp pattern and shine.
Carpets made from yarns mixed in this way are velvety and very pleasant to the touch.
Namda (namdah) felt lint-free carpets, also made by skilled Kashmiri masters, are very popular in India and beyond . Namda is made from light wool and adorned with bright intricate embroidery with floral patterns.
Usually men make namda . It happens like this: sackcloth is impregnated with a special adhesive mixture of chalk and gum, a layer of prepared wool is laid on top.
After that, everything is rolled up and rolled with a stick so that the wool is distributed evenly and fixed properly. Then the preparation of the future carpet is dried. The carpet is embroidered with woolen threads using special metal hooks.
Namda carpets are also made in one more way: the pattern is laid out on a woolen layer with woolen threads or ready-made motifs from a thin felt fabric are applied.
Then everything also rolls into a roll. During riding, the superimposed elements are glued to the woolen base and a finished carpet is obtained.
Namda is laid on the floor, decorated with walls, and also used as bedspreads for furniture.