, Volume 32, Issue 4, pp 509–524 | Cite as

Cognitive bearing of techno-advances in Kashmiri carpet designing

  • Gagan Deep KaurEmail author
Original Article


The design process in Kashmiri carpet weaving is a distributed process encompassing a number of actors and artifacts. These include a designer called naqash who creates the design on graphs, and a coder called talim-guru who encodes that design in a specific notation called talim which is deciphered and interpreted by the weavers to weave the design. The technological interventions over the years have influenced these artifacts considerably and triggered major changes in the practice, from heralding profound cognitive accomplishments in manually driven design process causing major alterations in the overall structure of the practice. The recent intervention is by the digital technology: on the one hand, it has brought precision and speedy processing in the design process, and on the other, it has eliminated some of the crucial actors from the practice. This paper, which forms part of a larger study on the situated and distributed cognitive process in Kashmiri carpet-weaving practice, describes the technological makeover of the design artifacts involved in this practice over the years and their resultant cognitive impact on the design process as well as on the practice.


Talim Kashmiri carpet weaving Carpet designing Graphs Notational system 



I am thankful to National Institute of Advanced Studies (NIAS), Bengaluru and its Consciousness Studies Programme for supporting and funding the fieldwork in 2015. I am extremely obliged to Ms. Aamina Assad, Chief Designer, School of Designs (SoD), Mr. Gazanfar Ali, the then Director, Directorate of Handicrafts—Massive Carpets Scheme (MCS) and Mr. Zubair Ahmad, Director, Indian Institute of Carpet Technology (IICT), all in Srinagar, for facilitating my work at their respective institutions. I am thankful to Prof. Mushtak Haider, University of Kashmir, for translating the Consent Form used during 2015. I am grateful to Mohd. Ashraf Khan and Sajad Nazir for providing me samples of Alchay and Inch-square graphs, respectively, and M/s BMW Designers, Srinagar for permitting me to reproduce a talim-roll in my paper whose copyright they hold. I am thankful to Prof. Siby George, IIT Bombay and Ms. Sanam Roohi, NIAS for their feedback. Last but not the least, I am obliged to all my respondents for their invaluable time.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag London 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Consciousness Studies Programme, National Institute of Advanced Studies (NIAS)Indian Institute of Science Campus (IISc)BengaluruIndia

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