A special kind of embroidery done with a hook known as crewel is commonly used for drapery and upholstery. A fascinating needle art, crewelwork in Kashmir has a distinct style that is mostly done by a thin wool thread or woolen fabric which creates a vivid texture. Crewel or Hook embroidery, locally known as Zalakdozi, is one of the specialized styles of embroidery practiced in Kashmir.
Making of Crewel
The crewel making process begins with the selection of a design – “Tree of Life”, “Jacobean” and “Maple” are some of the most commonly used designs by manufacturers in Kashmir. Custom designs whether traditional or modern are also made specific to customer request.
The designer will first make a rough sketch on a 56″ wide (or different depending on the width of fabric to be printed) translucent paper long enough to accommodate at least one pattern repeat but wide enough to cover the entire fabric width. Once the process is finished, he will then punch holes in the design, correcting any deviations using skill and experience to perfect the design for the next step.
Once the design is ready, the pattern sheet is placed on an already laid out fabric and an ink soaked cloth (preferably woolen yarn as it soaks less ink) is wiped all over the design so that the ink seeps through the tiny pores in the design sheet to cast a nice and clean imprint on the fabric underneath.
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