A man with a Karakuli cap

SRINAGAR — The famous Karakuli cap-making in Kashmir is getting revived as its demand is increasing with each passing day. Cap makers in Kashmir are giving a new look to this royal and traditional cap, luring youngsters to wear it too.

People, who have been associated with the making of Karakuli caps, said that with new designs, these caps are now being used by young people. Earlier, these caps were used by royal elderly people and that is why it is known as the royal cap of Kashmir.

Hilal Ahmad, a Karakuli cap maker from Nowhatta area of Srinagar, while speaking to the news agency KNO, said that he has learned the art of making Karakuli caps from his grandfather (Nanu) and for decades, he has been making these caps.

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Karakuli - Royal Cap of Kashmir
Karakuli – Royal Cap of Kashmir

“Karakuli cap is being used occasionally and is being used by Sufis but the same caps are being used by politicians and other people,” he said, adding, “Now we have started giving Karakuli caps a new pattern and design due to which it is being used by young people as well and it’s demand is on the rise.”

“Its material is being brought from different countries like Scotland and here new items are being made,” he said, adding that these caps were being used by royals only as people were not in a position to buy these.

“The caps, which are being made here, are being sold for Rs. 5000-Rs. 15000 and now the young generation is loving to use these caps,” he said.

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Karakuli - Popular cap in Kashmir
Karakuli cap in a new pattern

Riyaz Ahmad Shah (55), another cap maker from the same area, said that his family has been associated with cap making for the last century. “Though our children don’t have any interest in cap making, however, with new patterns and designs, Karakuli has good demand if it is being made well,” he said.

Notably, the term Karakul comes from the ‘Karakul’ breed of sheep, which is native to Central or Western Asia. This cap is made from the wool of sheep and goats. The cap is made from the skin of a Karakul lamb with soft fur, curly texture, a velvety feel and a glossy sheen, making it very popular in Kashmir.

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