"If there be a paradise on earth it is here", so said the emperor Shahjahan about of Kashmir. As fabulous as the landscape of Kashmir is the art and handicrafts of the region that are the embodiments of the rich fauna and the aesthetic conscience of the people of Kashmir.
Kashmiri embroidery is a variety of chain stitch which runs continuously on the entire fabric. It is delicately and patiently done by hand in a laborious manner. Although there have been other variants of chain stitch in India, it is really made famous and popular on the fabrics here. More prominent are the embroidered woolen garments and products like coats, shawls and even blankets where beautiful chain stitch is done. The coats from Kashmir have found wide currency and favor with people from all over the world not only for their warmth and heat generating capacity but also for the aesthetic value of the garments.
The embroidery on these woolen garments is also done with woolen threads, and runs through the entire fabric on a minute pattern that makes the garment look full. The patterns on the embroidery are historically Persian motifs of the depiction of fauna in beautiful curves. The Islamic rule in Kashmir from the 11th century onwards has seen the proliferation of these patterns, that are inspired form the Persian textiles and paintings. The local Kashmiri influence is also seen in the depiction of the CHINAR leaves and some creeper patterns that are found aplenty and are the symbols of the local culture of Kashmir.
These coats have high necks and come up to the upper part of the thighs. Hence they are really short coats that can be worn on trousers, skirts, and also on salwar kameezes and saris.
This particular piece is yet another coat from the land of Kashmir. The coat is in maroon color with contrasting embroidery done in light green, brown and biscuit color threads. The embroidery on the neck consists of small mango leaf patterns in a creeper form that has green leaves. On the front there are large mango leaves, which are covered inside with delicate embroidery. Alongside are floral creepers to complement the large embroidery. The hands are also covered with similar motifs as the front of the coat. On the back of the coat a similar embroidery pattern is followed.