Sozni, the meticulous and sophisticated needle embroidery craft is the art of hand embroidery on both sides of the fabric. Introduced from Central Asia in the early 12th century, this amazingly fine needle art is perfected in Kashmir. The motifs are complex, intricate yet a treat to the eyes. Sometimes different colors are used to sketch both sides and this type of design is known as ‘Dorukha’. Sozni embroidery is mostly used for the decoration of shawls, where the motifs are extensively designed using various fabrics, which gives a touch of elegance to the shawl. In some designs, the sozni embroidery is done using multiple colors which gives a beautiful color contrast.
The Naqashi or artisan carefully draws the design, determining the outline. Then, a wooden mold of the same design is carved and the design is imprinted on the fabric. The fabric is passed on to a skilled artisan or naqashi who carefully imprints bold and vivid colors. The final product is then washed and left out to dry.