Leather Industry in the Kashmir Valley is experiencing a boom in this decade. Engaged in the rawhide business since generations and living in the downtown of Srinagar localities, they constitute a very small number of people.
The growing daily turnover figures are a statistical evidence of the profitability of this business. Rawhide dealers collect hides of various animals like sheep, goat, and cattle mostly from abattoirs in Srinagar and also from villages. Raw hides are tanned with a coat of non-iodised salt and other materials at various storage points from where they are segregated and transported to various places outside Kashmir. In Kashmir there are two types of hide, male and hide of female. The rates of hides of both male and female are different. The rates of the hide of goat are different too. A large number of young people are involved in leather business. Over millions pieces of rawhide are transported to different tanneries and leather factories in Delhi, Kanpur, Agra and Chennai where various leather products like jackets, boots, wallets, purses and belts are designed and made. And from the factories these Items are being exported for years to the European countries.
Textile industry competes on low cost, high quality, accurate delivery and flexibility in variety and volume. Several challenges stand in the way of Kashmiri firms before they can own a larger share of the global market. Kashmiri firms are typically smaller than other Indian counterparts .
The beautiful major textile crafts that have been prevalent in Kashmir since long, such as Kashmiri carpets, shawls, tweed, silk as well as embroidery. Kashmir carpet industry is famous the world over and Like Kashmiri carpets, shawls made in Kashmir are adored both in India and internationally. The Shahtoosh and Pashmina shawls made in Kashmir are world famous. Shahtoosh shawls are made from the wool of the Tibetan antelope. Pashmina shawls are made from the wool of the Kel sheep found in the Himalayan mountains. Such shawls are extremely soft and do not hurt the skin of the wearer. Shahtoosh shawls are so finely woven that the entire shawl can pass through a ring. It is for this reason that such shawls are known as 'Ring shawls'. The Kashmiri tweed, Kashmiri silk material and Kasida embroidery is considered to be one of the best materials in the world. Rearing cocoons for mulberry silk is one of the major occupations of the people of Kashmir.
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