Kashmir’s last generation of chain-stitch artisans sees no future for the craft


Kashmir’s last generation of chain-stitch artisans sees no future for the craft

Srinagar, Jan 17 (KNO): Traditional chain-stitch craft is witnessing slow death with craft restricted to old generation of artisans. Mohammad Irfan Wani, a chain stitch artist from Malchemar Aali Kadal told news agency—Kashmir News Observer (KNO), that his family has been associated with ‘Jalakdozi’ craft for the last 200 years. But he is worried the craft which his forefathers introduced in his family will have no takers now.

“I will be the last person in my family to be associated with the art as none is ready to learn. Also, there is a low demand for chain stitch items. An artisan earns a mere Rs 100-150 per day and they can’t sustain their families,” he said.He blamed the government for its failure in reviving the art.“Our items are reaching every country and demand can increase too.

But middlemen are looting both artists and customers and despite repeated requests to the government, no step has been taken to stop this practice,” he said.Gulzar Ahmad (61), another artist from Aali Kadal in Srinagar complained that there is little demand for the chain stitch products.

People who have been associated with the art are finding it hard to meet their two ends and most of them have left the trade, he said.

Chain stitch is a sewing and embroidery technique in which a series of looped stitches form a chain-like pattern. Chain stitch has been inspired by the enchanting natural beauty of Kashmir, hence motifs like Booen (chinar), Badam (paisley), Yemburzal (narcissus), Daenposh (pomegranate) and Pamposh (lotus) are the most popular and repeatedly employed motifs—(KNO)

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