Kashmiri lifestyle, hand sozni embroidery

The Rhymes of Hand-Sozni Embroidery

The Rhymes of Hand-Sozni Embroidery

Kashmir is a place held together by heritage and culture. Defining the endless magical appearances of Kashmir with the passage of time Kashmir is a treasure trove of culture, heritage sites, and handicrafts. Sozni hand embroidery being one among them is an intricate needlework that evokes Kashmiri culture on any fabric. Sozni is one of the exquisite types of needlework embroidery. It is the intricate reflection of an artisan’s high skill. 

Back in the 14th century, A saint arrives with the bliss of intricacy

The song of the saint from the Middle East unravels the notes of the Kashmir Valley. Sozni embroidery was flourishing with the highly skilled craftsmen accompanying the sage, Mir Syed Ali Hamdani, in the 14th century. The craft is one of many handicrafts that have stood the test of time due to their opulence and complexity. The sage made Kashmiri people learn the skill from 700 other craftsmen.  The people of Kashmir became artisans of such grace that they are known for their high skill. In addition, the intricate craft is also referred to as “Sozni Kem” or “Stcheninikaem”. 

How is Sozni Embroidery done? 

Sozni embroidery is defined mainly by the other handicraft of Kashmir, called Pashmina. When the intricate Sozni Embroidery is cast on it, the rich craft of Pashmina reflects the elegance in spades. There is a stepwise process that is curated by skilled artisans. 

1. The Creation of Designs.

creation of sozni designs
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The Pashmina shawl or any fabric is transferred to a designer (Naqash), who defines the faith of each design. He prints the outline of the designs using finely carved walnut woodblocks. There are already thousands of woodblocks prepared by expert carvers over the years for printing. 

 2. Color Scheme Selection.

The hand-printed fabric is passed on to the master artisans, called Tarash-Guru in the L language, who select the colours of yarns for the Sozni embroidery to be done. The master artisan selects beauty from a wide array of colours.

3. The design is approved by the master artisan.

A master craftsman (Voste) checks the designs and makes changes to them accordingly. Afterwards, the design is approved and transferred to the artisans, who work diligently on the Sozni embroidery.

4. Artists start Sozni embroidery work.

sozni embroidery
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There are several workshops, or ‘Karkhana’, where men artisans live and work every day. The hand-printed base fabric guides the definition of embroidery for the artisans. Sozni embroidery consists of many stitches, including herringbone, darning, double darning, and knots. The craft of Sozni embroidery is intricate and elegant. The humming of silk thread and sharp needles gives elegance to the journey of Sozni to this day. 

Various traditional motifs are inscribed in Sozni embroidery, such as the paisley or almond motif, which is also known as badam in the local language. Moreover, bird motifs and natural motifs, especially the Chinar leaves, are the tokens of the Kashmir Valley itself.

A hand-sozni embroidered shawl can take from a few months to more than 4 years to complete, depending on the intricacy and design of the masterpiece.

5. Washing of the Sozni embroidered masterpiece.

It takes a long time to complete the masterpieces. Therefore, washing it for the final grace is necessary. Beautifully crafted Sozni embroidered masterpiece is diligently washed under the stream of running water near the banks of Jhelum. therefore adding the glory of the Jhelum river’s essence. Afterwards, it’s dried in the natural space and ironed accordingly for the market ahead.

hand sozni adorned pashmina shawl
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Kashmers.com has a collection of accessories including Pashmina shawls and stoles, cushion covers and bags that make the Sozni embroidery define their bliss. Beyond the beauty of rhymes, Sozni Hand Embroidery tangles contemporary designs in traditional ways on our platform. 

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