Kashmir Papier-Mache


Papier-mâché is a composite material consisting of paper pieces or pulp, sometimes reinforced with textiles, bound with an adhesive, such as glue, starch, or wallpaper paste.

Kashmiri papier-mâché is a handicraft of Kashmir that was brought by Muslim saint Mir Sayyid Ali Hamadani from Persia in the 14th century to medieval India. Kashmiri paper mache items are individually created, and each one tells its own special story.

This art form is primarily based on paper pulp, and produces richly decorated, colourful artefacts, generally in the form of vases, bowls or cups, bases of lamps, and many other small objects. These are generally made in homes or workshops, in Srinagar and other parts of Kashmir.

In Kashmir, Papier Mache originated in the form of making pen cases from paper pulp (base). The qalamdans (pen cases) were in turn covered with floral or geometric patterns and finished with a coat of rogan (Varnish). For this reason the craft was initially referred to as Kariqalamdan (the art of making pen cases). The art involves two processes: Sakhtasaazi (making of base product) and Naqashi (painting) which gives a decorative touch with intricate designs.


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