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Prestigious Kashmiri ‘Kani Shawl’ Craft under Threat

Written by Shafat

Video By: Rafeeqa Bano | Text By: Shafat Mir | 10 April 2016

The Kani Shawl of Kashmir holds a prestigious status all over the globe. Kani Shawl, which is weaved by hands, is an exquisite fabric that is wrapped loosely around the shoulders, or to cover the head. It can take a craftsman some three months to three years to complete one piece of Kani Shawl, some take even five years to complete depending upon the intricacy of the design. Kanihama, a village in the west of Kashmir, is specialized in weaving the Kani Shawls. The Kani Shawl found its existence in Kashmir some 150 years ago. Due to the introduction of Fake machine made Kani Shawls, the artisans of this prestigious craft are forced to charge half the amount from the buyers or switch to other businesses. The imitated Kani shawls are 80% cheaper than the original ones. A genuine piece would cost from 80,000 to 2 lakhs and onwards as compared to the fake ones the range of which can go up to 20.000 mostly. Rafiqa Bano reports from Budgam.

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