Papier Machie is one of the most popular of crafts practised in Kashmir. The tradition of the Kashmir Papier Machie has its origin rooted in the 15th century when king Zain-ul-Abidin invited accomplished artists and craftsmen from Central Asia.
A French term so commonly adopted in East and West and meaning "mashed paper" papier machine is in fact a unique combination of line and colour on moulded forms of a variety of objects. It involves ornamentation in colour over smoothened surfaces built up of paper pulp or layers of paper. Paper pulp is not always found effective and is some times replaced by other substitutes.
The colours painted on object are made from pigments diluted in water to which some glue is added to fix the ground on which it is used. The three categories of colours are -- mineral (both actual and artificial) organic (both plants insects etc.) Vegetables. The final objects papier machie is given one or two coats of varnish which besides giving it shine serves as a protective agent.
Important designs and motifs in papier machie designs are:
Gulander Gul (flower in flower)
Hazara (the thousand flowers) Gul Vilayat (the dear flower) Miniature Mugal paints Mythological figures Animals Hunting scenes Battle Scenes The product range covers ring boxes, pill boxes, boxes of assorted shapes and sizes, flower vases, wall plaques, bowls, ashtrays, screens etc.