Kashmiri embroidery is natively called Kashmiri kashida. This embroidery is famous around the world and fondly called kashida kari or kashida work. The patterns or motifs made on the cloth are often birds, flowers, creepers, blossoms, lotus, mango, trees etc., Nature is re-created in the embroidery.
A wide range of vibrant colors such as green, purple, blue, yellow, black, crimson, saffron and scarlet are used. Males between 7 and 60 years of age practised this kashidkari craft. Hence there was different levels of expertise and requires many hands in making an item. Therefore, they always worked in groups. This was a means of livelihood for many families.
The base cloth is usually silk, wool or cotton and with one or two stitches, the entire pattern is designed. Initially the base cloth was white, off-white or cream but in the present days a wide variety of colors are being used in the salwar-kameez and stoles. Kashida uses crystal threads, but it also makes use of pashmina and leather thread on a canvas. Apart from clothing, it is commercially used in bed covers, pillow covers and cushions. Kashimiri embroidery is famous for their skilled stitch. Some of the stitches are chain, the satin, slanted darn, stem, and herringbone. Doori stitch (knot) is also quite popular. The popular design is the Kashmiri teapot design. This teapot is called samovar. This samovar pattern along with floral, leafy design is used in the kashida work especially on the neckline and sleeves.
Naala Jaal is style in kashidakari where the embroidery is included only on the neckline and chest. Naal in Kashmiri dialect means neck. It has a dense embroidery work around the neck area. A different form of this style is neem-jaama, which has less dense embroidery designs.kashmiri_hand_embroidered