Paper mache is a craft that has been practiced in Kashmir for centuries. It is a technique of creating decorative objects by using a mixture of paper and glue, which is then molded and painted to create intricate designs. Paper mache is a versatile craft that can be used to create a wide range of objects, from decorative boxes and vases to masks and figurines.

The process of making paper mache involves several steps. First, old newspapers or other types of paper are torn into small pieces and soaked in water. Once the paper is saturated, it is mixed with a glue made from a paste of rice flour and water. The resulting mixture is then molded into the desired shape.

Once the paper mache object has been molded, it is allowed to dry completely. This can take several days or even weeks, depending on the size and complexity of the object. Once the object is dry, it is sanded to create a smooth surface, and any imperfections are filled with a mixture of sawdust and glue.

The final step in the paper mache process is painting and decorating the object. The artisans use a range of techniques to create intricate designs, including painting, stamping, and stenciling. The designs can be traditional, such as the paisley pattern that is popular in Kashmir, or they can be more modern and abstract.

Paper mache is a labor-intensive craft that requires skill, patience, and attention to detail. It is a traditional craft that has been passed down through generations of Kashmiri artisans, and many families specialize in paper mache production. The craft is not only important for its cultural significance but also for its economic impact. Many artisans rely on paper mache production as their primary source of income.

In conclusion, paper mache is a traditional craft in Kashmir that has been practiced for centuries. The process of making paper mache involves molding a mixture of paper and glue, allowing it to dry, sanding and filling imperfections, and finally painting and decorating the object. The craft requires skill, patience, and attention to detail and has both cultural and economic significance in the region. Paper mache objects are not only decorative but also practical, making it a versatile and important craft.

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