Artisan Spotlight

Crewel Cushions From The Himalayas

Crewel embroidery cushion

From the Pir Panjal mountain ranges..

Our crewel cushions; one of our bestsellers; are made by master artisans from the Pir Panjal mountain ranges in the Himalayas. The artisans are supported by our partner NGO, Indian National Trust for Art & Cultural Heritage (INTACH). The Jammu & Kashmir chapter of the institute (INTACH J&K) works in Vasaknag; an area that not so long ago was deeply affected by a snow avalanche, leaving a devastating impact on the lives of the people in the region. The institute works for the economic development of the local community, by imparting skills and training in traditional crafts. This not only helps preserve the ancient craft of Kashmir, but also provides a sustainable source of livelihood to the artisan community.


The Crewel Embroidery Technique

Crewel or hook embroidery, locally known as Jalakdozi, is one of the specialised styles of hand embroidery practiced in Kashmir. The base cloth is usually hand-woven cotton canvas. Embroidery is done with a hook needle, using woollen or staple yarn. Traditionally, the women artisans sit together in groups and embroider, once they are finished with the domestic chores at home.

Kashmiri cushions

The selected design is first traced onto the base fabric as per the specifications of professional tracers, also known as ‘Naqaash’. Perforated butter paper or tracing sheets with the design are then placed on the fabric, and charcoal powder is rubbed all over it. This leaves the impression of the design on the fabric surface. Gum Arabic/oil is then added to the powder to make the impression durable.

The traced fabric is then handed over to the embroiderer; locally known as Jalakdoz. The embroiderer works with a hook needle, inserting the hook from the right while the thread is held on the underside.The embroidered fabric is then washed with mild detergent to wash off the tracing marks. It is then given to the tailors for stitching before going through a thorough quality check to ensure it meets the required production standards.

crewel embroidery

The colours and designs in our collection are inspired by the natural beauty of Kashmir. You’ll find that it has traditional floral patterns as well contemporary designs to suit spaces of all stripes.

Our cushions are CRAFTMARK certified. This acts as a seal of approval for its quality, authenticity, craftsmanship and fair trade practice.

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