Because of the high quality of embroidery done on wall hangings and rugs, Kashmiri crewel work is in great demand all over the world. Chain stitch, be it in wool, silk or cotton, is done by hook rather than any needle. The hook is referred to as ari, and quality for quality, hook work covers a much larger area than needle work in the same amount of time.

All the embroidery is executed on white cotton fabric, pre-shrunk by the manufacturers. The intrinsic worth of each piece lies in the size of the stitches and the yarn used. Tiny stitches are used to cover the entire area-the figures or motifs are worked in striking colors; the background in a single color, made up of a series of coin sized concentric circles which impart dynamism and a sense of movement to a design. The background fabric should not be visible through the stitches.

Crewel is basically similar to chain stitch. It is also Chain stitch done on White background, but here the motifs, mainly stylish flowers, do not cover the entire surface, and the background is not embroidered upon. Wool is almost invariably used in Crewel work and color ways are not as elaborate as in Chain stitch. They make excellent household furnishings being hand or machine washable.