Papier Mache is a delicate decorative art which shows the artistic zeal of a craftsman. This art was introduced in Kashmir by Mughal Emperors of 15th and 16th Century.
The traditional Kashmiri method of making Papier mache starts with waste papier which is soaked in water for several days until it disintegrates and mixed to form a pulp.On the drying of pulp, the shape is cut away from the mould in two halves and then glued again. The surface is coated with the layer of glue and rubbed smooth with a stone or baked piece of clay . A base color is painted on,and a design is added free hand. The object is then sandpapered or burnished and is finally painted with several coats of lacquer. The ingenious papier mache artisans of Kashmir transform a variety of utility articles into rare art pieces. The papier Mache objects produced in Kashmir today vary from Christmas ornaments to coasters and include boxes of every imaginable size and shape. These objects are not only beautifully decorated, but are surprisingly light and strong. Coating of lacquer protects them from water and gives them extra durability.