Willow Wicker

Into The Craft Of Willow Wicker

Willow Wicker Craft

Among the beauty of the Kashmir Valley, there are distinct handicrafts that are unique to the region. Since the nineteenth century, handicrafts have rhymed together to define Kashmir Valley culture and traditions. In every corner of the valley, a peculiar handicraft suffuses beatitude. One such handicraft can be found in the Kashmir Valley saga. It is the craft of willow wicker. Willow wicker is the indigenous craft of the Kashmir Valley that permeates every masterpiece with the essence of hand-made. Moreover, it is a decorative craft as well as one that defines the purpose of utility on a large scale. Let us first define willow wicker before learning more about this lovely craft. 

What is Willow Wicker? 

A time-travel story begins in the nineteenth century, when a group of seeds and artisans set out for Kashmir. The skill of weaving willow came from a region of Central Europe to awe the valley’s inhabitants. Generations of artisans learned it from their ancestors to glorify the craft in manifold ways. Also, willow wicker is the hand-skilled craft of the Kashmir Valley. Locally known as “Kaeni Kaem,” it is defined as the weaving of willow reeds in a specific pattern to reflect the beauty of handicrafts in every direction. Willow, also known as “Kaen,” is the raw material used for Willow Wicker crafting. The journey of this indigenous craft begins when a willow plant grows 2–3 metres in height and the crop is harvested in October.

The Crafting Begins…..

The skilled artisans of Kashmir are given the elixir of willow wickercraft, the raw wicker stem called Withy (Neejh Kaen). They begin by boiling the bundles of willow overnight in large boilers (bahlaar) located in local regions. The process of boiling is known as “Paak Duen.” Afterwards, the boiling is followed by peeling off the bark. The process is locally known as “Zeallunn.” Also, the peeling of the bark is a delicate step and is accomplished by using a special arrangement of sticks made of wood. Afterwards, we moved ahead with drying in natural sunlight. The process is called “Hokhnawun.” The process of drying lasts for several days. thus making it completely devoid of moisture.

willow wicker weaving
Image Subjected To Copyright

The crafting of willow begins as soon as the skilled artisans take the willow in their hands. Moreover, the artisans weave the willows together in much the same manner as the musical instruments compose in an orchestra. There is something about the weaving and interweaving of willows that makes the music of Willow Wicker Craft tremendously enthralling. The hands of an artisan move along the willow wickers to attain a shape of unending luxury. Used for decor as well as utility, the craft is versatile. Willow Wicker Craft enchants Kashmiri culture in every woven journey, in every way of nature. 

The willow is dyed in various colors, including blue, red, yellow, green, pink, veridian, etc. Various geometric patterns are given by interweaving multi-directional willow. Embellishments such as mirrors, foils, and metal pieces are also used to adorn Willow Wicker products, further enhancing the craft. 

The Tale of Willow Wicker Craft 

The saga of wicker dates back to 400 B.C. The people of that age used wicker for various purposes, such as transportation, housing, home decor, utensils, etc. However, evidence of wicker willow as a craft has been found in Central Europe.

In Kashmir, the craft was introduced in the 19th century. The people of Kashmir have told tales about the Willow Wicker. They believe that Maharaja Hari Singh brought 12 kg of seeds and many skilled craftsmen from Central Europe for the plantation of willow and its crafting. The people of Kashmir (Kashmiris) used willow wicker in several ways, from the form of baskets for storing and transporting goods to the crafting of decorative objects. Furthermore, there exists a process for making a clay pot surrounded by willow interweaves called “Kangerr.”

There are several books about the culture of Kashmir. The first book known in history that talks about the process of willow wickercraft used in Kangerr is Kalhana Rajatarangi. In addition, a Britisher established an institute in Srinagar to introduce the European technique of willow wicker craft in the area surrounding Bage-Dilawar Khan.

Exquisite Collection of Willow Wicker 

Distinctly defined techniques of Willow Wicker craft make the whole journey of heritage. Traditionally used for making baskets and Kangerr (clay pot used for warmth). There is a proper term for the basket weavers of Kashmir. They are called “Shaksaaz.” This is the beauty of Kashmir: to adorn an artisan with such beautiful words.

Kashmers.com has been working towards the revival of modernism in the craft of willow. Therefore, we have admired the craft for ages. Belonging to the realm of Kashmir, there is an alluring reflection in each handicraft. We bring the reflections of each weave from willow wicker craft and add a modern touch. We offer you an avalanche of willow wicker products made by skilled Kashmiri craftsmen. Directly taken from the karkhanas (workshops) of artisans, we present you with the most unique and defined objects.

From willow wicker backpacks to lampshades, the beauty of each masterpiece speaks of utility and luxury. We belong to the Crafting Finesse Collection for Gen Z. Thus, all you have to do is find the beauty of willow wicker in our collection to cherish your being and your home. In addition, there is a defined concept of sustainability and eco-friendliness in our space. So, we live in an environment, and it’s your and our priority to bless the world a bit.