A heaven on earth, Jammu is renowned for its scenic elegance. This is poised with unique handiworks reflecting the lifestyle, culture and heritage of Jammu and Kashmir. Starting from woolen textiles to hand woven carpets, these handiworks fetch a great value in foreign countries.
In India too, these are held in high esteem and the prices charged for them are also very high. Wooden works, Silver ware and Papier-mache are some of the exquisite Arts and Crafts in Jammu. Shawls of Jammu, one of the best craft items, known as Pashmina Shawl, is generally fleecy and are obtained from Kel goat. The handloom artisans in Jammu who fetches this wool are womenfolk, another asset of India with their beautiful looks and splendid ornaments that they wear.
The fabric is prepared by a special technique; the thread used for this purpose is twisted and wafted (fanned in air for drying) before being dyed. Henceforth weaving is done, resulting in the beautiful Pashmina Shawl.
With even designs on either side, the range of these Pashmina Shawl is generally very high. Carpets known as Gabba, consists of floral designs in its upper exposed part, while the base consists of Hessian Cloth and coarse wool is also famous throughout the world.
Floral motifs imprinted in the top are indicative of the dexterity involved. Embroidery of Kashmir deserves special mention. This is known as Kasida, which involves drawing from the memory. The intricate floral designs are apt and gorgeous, indicating the brilliance of the minds of the people who conceived them.
Khatam-Band is a special kind of ceiling completely made of wood, in geometric shape. The houseboat builders have reserved this age old tradition of Kashmir and now the affluent ones can only afford them. Rings consisting of colored mica and bangles of various shapes and forms are also available here.
Apart from these, stamp boxes, picture frames and other brass and metal items are also available. All these indicate the high quality of the handiwork that distinguishes Kashmir, seeing which the great Mughal emperor Jahangir could nor suppress his feelings, and exclaimed that if there was at all any heaven, it was nowhere other than in Kasmir.