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Chitral's Artisans Participate in Looming/Handicraft Exhibition
Chitral Association for Mountain Area Tourism (CAMAT) facilitated the participation of artisans from the Chitral district to Lok Virsa Handicraft/ Looming Exhibition in Shakarparian, Islamabad from December 28 to30, 2010. The purpose of the exhibition was to highlight the products from different parts of Pakistan, giving market linkages and exposure opportunities to artisans to learn from each other’s work.
Chitral’s pavilion attracted a good number of visitors who showed interest in the handicrafts and bought Chitrali cap, woolen and goat-hair carpet, wooden spoon and so on.
In the meantime, training about looming was also imparted to artisans aimed at diversifying their products and to make it more market-friendly. This could be possible by changing the designs, patterns and color system of the products. Likewise, the frame looming which is in vogue in Chitral has to be changed for an easier method called ‘pit looming’, practiced in Sindh and Punjab.
It is quite worrying that at present the handicraft of Chitral is at cross-road. The work, which is more or less women-centered, is labor-intensive whilst the price is not as encouraging as to engage young generation. This means the handicraft is dying out. The only safe way to protect it is by introducing drastic changes in the designs and color system of the products, introducing pit looming and most importantly by securing market linkages for the products.