Inspired by the Persian artisans who traveled to Kashmir, papier mache is the wonderful art of creating something magical out of nothing. Papier-mache has its roots all over the world, with each culture having its style of art. The amazing artwork also found its home in Kashmir, and over the years, the traditional Kashmiri culture blended into the existing designs of the Persian-bought craft, producing a flourishing art form. The French traders who exported shawls used the concept of papier mache to create the packaging. Consequently, these decorative boxes became highly prized in France and were even sold independently.
Kalamdans or pen holders were among the first papier-mache objects that were created in Kashmir. With the advent of pens and brushes, the calligraphy designs were drawn giving this art a fresh outlook. Over time, the reputation for papier mache craft of Kashmir drew the attention of the Mughal Empire and it is said that many palanquins in the Mughal court were specially brought from Kashmir.