Papier-mâché is one of the most popular of crafts practiced in Kashmir (India) The tradition of the Kashmiri Papier-mâché has its origin rooted in the 15th century when king Zain-ul-Abidin invited accomplished artists and craftsmen from Central Asia. Only the finest Papier-mâché artisans indulge in creating such intricate art as it needs absolute dedication, skill, finesse and above all lot of time to complete such ornate objects. It’s hard to believe that these pieces begin as molded paper pulp. While the basic shape comes from a mold, the last layer before painting is freshly applied, and sculpted (or embosses) by hand. After passing through the hands of several artisans and craftsmen, each specializing in a specific layer of process, an object of exquisite beauty comes to life. These objects are not only beautifully decorated, but are surprisingly light and strong. Their coating of lacquer protects them from water and gives them extra durability.