The craft of Crewel, or Kashidakari equally matches with the beautiful derivation of its name. Kashida means cursive writing in Persian. An umbrella term for the various kinds of Kashmiri embroidery practices. Kashidakari includes Ari work, Crewel work, Rezkar, Sozni, Tilla and Dori work. From upholstery, drapery, wall hangings, and floor coverings to delicate stoles, shawls, and saris, Kashida wraps one and all in its stunning beauty.
Traditionally, embroiderers are usually men from the Sunni Muslim community, with Wasim being one such maker. “The thread is passed through the Ari (hooked needle) and is always held under the fabric to be embroidered, while the hook is used to pull a series of loops, each emerging from within the previous loop to the surface of the fabric.”
Wasim adds that Crewel work uses a thicker Ari, giving rise to bolder designs on the fabrics. Tilla and Dori work lie on the finer side of embellishments since they are executed with gold or silver zari (tilla) and silk thread (dori), and used to embroider pherans, saris, and shawls.
In terms of motifs, a plethora of flora, and fauna themes recur in Kashidakari.