This craft is commonly enjoying a monopolised market for wickerwork. Straws, grass and leaf are being used to make domestic containers that are used to store agricultural produce. It is one of profusely produced in region and it is one if the main industries.
Willow wicker artisans used to weave a variety a basket and depends on various uses. These baskets are known as kiltu. There is also an outer casting in the kangri. One can find the picnic baskets and tiffin boxes are being made with woven willow. These are contemporary developments which are being spread to make lampshades, small chairs and tables.
This craft is being used to make intrinsic designs which have attractive face value which make them export worthy product to foreign countries. The Willow crafts are used in wordings and festive occasions.
- It is stronger material and less susceptible to insects than bamboo or cane.
- Forest and litigation departments are under putting demand for extensive growth of Willow as it is being demanded in huge quantities. The craft is providing employment to 5000 workers in the state.
- Willow wicker name is given to one-year sticks that result from willow prune. Grown in cool, fertile and irrigate lands. This requires large quantities of water.
- In Srinagar, they have design schools, workshops in Srinagar gave developed new designs and uses for willow wickerwork.
- Blend of Willow and cement gives commonly produced metal and ceramic. This helps craftsmen to cater to growing contemporary market.
- They make different baskets for agricultural, transport, rough village work. Basket is known as kaniyal. Kangri is unique as it represents intelligent use of combination of materials, comfort and new designs.
This basket weaving has been part of different cultures around the world and it is oldest human activities. There is production of modern furniture more than basic basket weaving techniques. This is earlier evidence of weaving being done in Sumerian civilisation. They use wicker for shelter, clothing’s, furnishings and utensils. They used to have sophisticated examples of ancient Egyptian wickerwork.
This craft is used to make wide range of products in both local and foreign or international markets. There are two methods for weaving is done and depend on characteristics of product that should possess -.
- Willow wicker plant is women by interlacing one in another to make small products and don’t bear much weight like other baskets.
- Framework is made using thicker willow logs after which the split wicker splinters are woven on it. This is practiced for bigger products like furniture which need more strength as well as bear more weight.
- Small portions are left open for inserting coloured foil which contains mirrors which are encircled in coloured metal. The properties like good food grade material as there is no fungus attack event.
- Craftsmen involved in other craft industry is witnessed a slow in demand. But demand of willow products is attracting lot of demand.
- There are many willow workers are satisfied with the income generated from willow products.
- Non-intervention of machines has been biggest turnaround for this craft to survive.
- The popularity and non-Interference of machines has led to authenticity of craft has been compromised till date.
- Raw material is getting expensive and creating hindrance till date.