by Aiman Fayaz
SRINAGAR: In Kashmir, the age-old custom of sporting distinctive headgear holds a particular place within the hearts of the locals, notably in the course of the winter months. The varied types of headgear made in several components of the area not solely showcase the abilities of native craftsmen but in addition replicate particular person preferences.
The outdated metropolis of Srinagar downtown is famend for crafting conventional headgear. From crafting traditional Karakuli to designing trendy caps, the headgear artisans all the time adapt to evolving types as demand grows.
These artisans adapt to evolving types, assembly the calls for of a various clientele. The headgear, crafted from supplies like fur, fleece, wool, and heat materials, not solely provides visible enchantment but in addition supplies sensible heat in the course of the chilly winters.
Ghulam Rasool, 55, a seasoned headgear maker, reminisces about importing fur in bulk from nations like Pakistan and Afghanistan. Again then, he skillfully crafted headgear equivalent to Karakuli and four-tier caps.
Nevertheless, a authorities ban on fur dealt a blow to native artisans, impacting their livelihoods and altering the manufacturing panorama.
His craftsmanship drew guests from locations like Ladakh and Shimla, who frequented his store in search of the distinctive and conventional headpieces he created.
The ban compelled a shift in supplies, inflicting a decline available in the market worth of conventional headgear. This modification affected not solely the artisans’ earnings but in addition posed a major problem to preserving the standard appeal of those headpieces.
The federal government’s ban on fur dealt a blow to native headgear makers like Ghulam Rasool, making it difficult to supply fur-based head caps.
Gaffar Ahmad, who makes fur gloves, shares how his lifelong job has modified. Within the outdated days, weavers might assist their households properly. However now, with machines and the ban on fur, the job has misplaced its worth.
Regardless of spending his life in a small picket store, Ahmad couldn’t fulfil his dream of upgrading to a sturdier one as a result of market decline. The once-respected craft has sadly misplaced its shine, impacting the artisans’ livelihoods and the cultural heritage of Kashmir’s distinctive headgear custom.
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