Lifestyle, Furniture

Kal Baffi- The Remarkable Art Of Kashmir’s Handmade Carpet Industry

Kal Baffi- The Remarkable Art Of Kashmir’s Handmade Carpet Industry

With mighty mountains, lush green meadows, and breathtaking sceneries, Kashmir valley presents a perfect frame of paradise. Known as the crown of the country, this landlocked Himalayan territory is famous for its traditions and skills. We have been lucky enough as we have been bestowed with a lot. When I say this, I don’t just refer to the scenic beauties but the saints and paragons who visited us hundreds of years back with their skilled companions. All the traditional skills you find here today have their roots in them. Talk of any traditional art like carpet weaving, crochet, paper mache, etc and you will find their roots in those companies who visited us.

In today’s blog, we’ll learn about one such Kashmiri tradition known as Kal Baffi which is the art of making hand-knotted carpets. Yes, you heard that right! Not all the carpets you see in the photos are machine-made. Most of them are woven by the golden hands of the Kashmiri carpet artisans. Talking about its debut in Kashmir, it is believed that Sultan Zain-ul-Abidin is the one who brought carpet weavers from Persia and Central Asia to Kashmir. Kashmiri artisans grabbed this art and took it to a whole new level. Talk of carpets at any international podium today and you’ll find the name of Kashmiri carpets on the top.

Kashmiri men weaving carpet
Image Source: Google
Women weaving carpet
Image Source: Google


As a Kashmiri, you must have come across the term “Kal Baff Taeleem” at least once in your lifetime. This refers to a kind of coding used by the weavers. This term was very popular in the valley when the fashion of learning this art was at its height in Kashmir. Kashmiri Carpets are an essential part of the Kashmiri handicrafts. Carpets take a very long time to get ready. It isn’t a matter of days or weeks but of months and sometimes years. Each carpet has an average of 200 to 900 knots per square inch. These knots together make beautiful and aesthetic designs. Many amazing designs are imprinted on these carpets which require a lot of skill, effort patience, and experience. One needs to be having an eye for detail when weaving a carpet. You can just put any color and any design on it. The design, color, and finish must complement each other else it loses its sheen. The materials of the carpets are either wool or silk.

Kashmiri carpets
Image Source: Google


Kashmiri carpets have managed to gain worldwide popularity because of their quality and complex designs. The more the complex design, the more it will fetch the seller. The price for these Kashmiri masterpieces can go up to lacs in the international market. To bring these masterpieces into life, the warp threads are stretched between two horizontal wooden beams, one in front of the weaver and the other behind the weaver, on the loom used in Kashmir carpet weaving. Different types of knots are used by the artisans with the Farsi baff and the Persian method known as Sehna, or Sinneh, being the most common.
There are other places in India where the carpets are manufactured. One such place is Badohi in Uttar Pradesh. But there is a visible difference in the approach of the international audience when it comes to choosing the best. There are a lot of carpet types available in the market but one cannot match the level and the luxury feel one gets from these masterpieces made in the valley.