Silk textile is one of the most ancient industries of Jammu and Kashmir state. Kashmiri silk-goods are renowned the world over for their quality, colour and shades. There are historical evidences which prove that silk fabrics were used to be exported to Persian, Greeks and Roman empires. During the medieval period, the Mughals were the great lovers of silken clothes. They patronized this industry in the Valley of Kashmir.
Carpet-Making and Woolen Textile:
Carpet-making is one of the oldest industries in Kashmir. Kashmiri carpets are famous all over the world for their excellent designs and natural patterns. Though carpets are made in almost all the towns of the valley, their major factories are in and around the City of Srinagar.
Some of the important carpet manufacturing centres in Srinagar are, the Cottage Industry Exposition, C.A.E. Carpet Factory, the Kashmiri Carpet Factory, the East-India Carpet Factory, the Oriental Carpet Factory and the John Carpet Factory.
The state of Jammu and Kashmir has about one-third of its total area under forest. Most of the forest species in the higher altitudes belong to the conifers, while in the lower altitudes pine and deciduous broad-leaves trees are more prominent. These forests provide raw material to a number of forest- based industries. Paper, pulp, match, delicate boxes, sports goods (cricket bats), furniture, joinery, toys, artifacts and decoration pieces are some of the agro-based industries well developed in the Valley of Kashmir.
The state of Jammu and Kashmir has an agrarian economy. In fact, agricultural products not only yield over 50 per cent of the states Gross Domestic Product (GDP), it provides raw materials to a number of industries. Fruit- canning, edible oil extraction, flour mills, rice-husking factories, bakery and alcohol preparation draw their raw materials from agriculture.
The plain areas of the Jammu Division and the Valley of Kashmir produce huge quantities of rice. Over 60 per cent of the total population of the state is rice eater. Consequently, there are numerous rice-husking factories in the state, situated mainly in smaller towns of the rice growing areas.
- Papier Mache:
Papier mache is made from the pulp of paper. The lacquer-workers apply their beautiful designs to smooth wood. These designs are very intricate, and the drawing is all freehand. The pen-boxes (qalamdan), tables, cabinet, trays, boxes are the main articles of papier mache. Papier mache still has great national and international market. After 1989, papier mache suffered as the disturbed political conditions discouraged the arrival of tourists. Papier mache industry is largely confined to the City of Srinagar and its adjacent areas.
Kashmir is well known for the production of leather goods. In many of the villages around Srinagar, Islamabad (Anantnag), Baramulla and Badgam, hides are prepared by the Watals and then are sold in the markets of Srinagar where they undergo a refining process.