mir’s famed papier mache artisans are celebrating Christmas early this yr as they’ve obtained orders in bulk for his or her merchandise from all through the nation along with abroad ahead of the pageant.

Plenty of the merchandise like Christmas balls and stars will seemingly be exported to European nations.

The sector, like most others, was hit by the COVID-19 pandemic and the orders had largely stopped coming for the ultimate couple of years. However, this yr’s bulk orders are set to current a model new lease of life to the craft and have launched cheer among the many many artisans.

Mohammad Maqbool, a resident of city’s Lal Bazar area, is busy giving ending touches to his papier mache merchandise.

“Now we’ve got obtained bulk orders this yr, notably for the European markets, and it is a good sign,” Maqbool suggested PTI.

The artisans are making a lot of merchandise just like stars, moon, eggs, balls and elephants, which can be used for adornment along with objects.

“The artisans had been prepared for Christmas. Now we’ve got to focus on new designs. Some designs are despatched to us by the consumers. We get orders from India along with abroad,” Maqbool talked about.


Kashmiri papier mache product sales are anticipated to see a rise (Image: Hakim Gulam) Kashmiri papier mache product sales are anticipated to see a rise (Image: Hakim Gulam)

One different artisan, Zahid Hussain Beg, talked about the number of orders for papier mache merchandise had decreased over the last few years attributable to Covid nevertheless this yr is totally totally different.

“The demand is extreme all through festivals. We’re usually busy all through Christmas. Orders have can be found good numbers this yr and there was a complete lot of labor,” Beg talked about.

Papier mache is probably going one of many hottest crafts practised in Kashmir and has its origin rooted throughout the fifteenth century when king Zain-ul-Abidin invited achieved artists and craftsmen from central Asia.


Papier mache is a novel combination of line and colour on moulded sorts of a variety of objects. It entails ornamentation in colour over smoothened surfaces constructed of paper pulp or layers of paper.

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Describing the bulk orders as an ideal sign, officers throughout the handicrafts and handloom division of Jammu and Kashmir expressed hope that the export price of the papier mache objects will go up and provide a much-needed improve to the craft.

“It is a good sign that orders have poured in. The Christmas balls section is so monumental that at events, we’re not able to meet the demand on account of the tactic of making these items by hand is time consuming. There have been efforts to semi-mechanise it, nevertheless not quite a bit success has been achieved,” Director, Handicrafts and Handloom, Kashmir, Mehmood Shah, suggested PTI.

Shah talked about papier mache entails two items of artisans — the sakhta makers and the painters — and every should go together with and complement each other.

“Solely then will the final word product hit the market,” he added.

Shah talked about the exports, primarily to Europe, are usually worth about Rs 13-15 crore. However, attributable to Covid, a lot of orders had been cancelled throughout the remaining couple of years.


“Thankfully, this yr, we’re gearing up for Christmas orders and hopefully, the export price of the papier mache objects to Europe will go up,” he talked about.

Whereas there could also be demand for such merchandise, the craft faces many points, along with a shortage of artisans. It is primarily attributable to the reality that the youthful generations aren’t desirous about learning the craft or taking it up professionally.


“The demand is there, nevertheless the manufacturing is low. Now we’ve got orders for about 10 lakh balls. We’ve to boost our manufacturing. We’d not have many artisans to handle up with the bulk orders we get, notably on the time of Christmas,” Maqbool lamented.

He talked about the artisans request the exporters to increase the wages. “Then solely will the youthful period take up this craft.” Shah talked about the craft is not restricted to day-to-day objects solely.


“Now we’ve got papier mache being accomplished on partitions, as a fusion with Khatamband (standard picket ceilings),” he talked about.

“We’ve to faucet new markets, go aggressively on e-platforms so that further livelihood options are generated,” he added.

Shah talked about the division is extra prone to launch a QR-based GI label for papier mache objects rapidly so that it provides the product its authenticity.

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