Kashmir is known all over the world for its beautiful handicrafts products. One of the well known handicraft products of the valley of Kashmir has been the Kani shawls. Kani Shawls are woven on a fame-loom using fine wooden sticks locally called ‘Tooj’i, which have coloured woolen threads attached to them. A Kani shawl takes about three months to a year for an artisan to complete depending on the embroidery and fetches from 20, 000 rupees) to 80,000 rupees .
As a matter of fact, The name kani shawl has a rich legacy behind it. This shawl derives its name from Kanihama, a small village on Srinagar-Gulmarg road were this variety of popular shawls was first woven.
The technique of Kani Shawl weaving has rich legacy behind it. been termed as the ’twill tapestry weave by Sir John Irwin, keeper at the Victoria & Albert Museum, London, and a well known researcher on the subject, because of its similarity to the technique traditionally employed in Western Europe for tapestry weaving.
It is worth pointing out that the Kani shawl has been historically fashioned using fine hand spun Pashmina & Shahtoosh fibres which have further added to its affluence and earned it the name of ‘ring shawls’ meaning that it can pass through a ring.
. The Kani shawl is woven on based of talim which indicate the color and the number of warp threads to be covered.
Worryingly the younger generation of Kashmiris is not very much interested in taking over Kani shawl weaving on account of economic uncertainty associated with it. Due to economic uncertainty and it is need of hour that the government takes all steps to promote it .