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 thread work, 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 coloured threads and beads woven into the fabrics like shawls and saris.
Origin & 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 patronised 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 nest maze of creativity and innovation using a wide spread of colours 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.
Sources of Inspiration
The motifs were mainly taken from nature; animal and human gures were not seen in this embroidery. Bird motifs were seen on the shawls (like parrot, woodpeckers and kingshers). Floral motifs like lily, lotus, iris, saffron ower and tulips were mostly seen on the shawls. Other designs like grapes, cherries, almonds and apples were their favourites. The chinar leaf is considered as an important motif.
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, paper mache work and even hook or ari work which comes under the wings of this embroidery style, as traditional motifs like animals, birds, owers, and fruits are woven into the fabric with the threads of gold, silver and other metallic coloured threads which replicate the sheer essence of the mystic nature.
This embroidery is done on silk, coon and wool fabrics. Colourful fabrics like white (sufed), green (zingari), purple (uder), blue (ferozi), yellow (zard) and black (mushki). The threads used were wool, cotton and silk.