The ethnic outfit of Eid looks incomplete without the head caps and hijabs.Though the traditional headgears are always in trend, when it comes to the Eid festival, there are a lot of stylish options to choose from.
Mir Reyaz Qadri from Mir Caps, Hyderpora has been into the business of caps for years. To cater the needs of the people, he not only manufactures caps but also imports caps from Turkey and other places.
“To beat the heat of Bakra Eid (Eid-ul-Adha), people want lightweight caps with air holes. They want air-conditioned caps. For this I made some cap designs which have a net at the top. The net makes the cap breathable and avoids sweating,” he said.
He further said that the caps made of cotton are also in demand. "The trend of caps made by kani shawls is also in vogue. Such caps are manufactured here in Kashmir," he added.
He has a huge fan following of the caps that he imports from Turkey which is one of its kind in Kashmir. One of the caps called Fez Caps is in good demand despite having a high price.
“The cap was worn by the Saltanat-e-Usmania. When Hazrat Usmani Gani (radi allahu anhu) was the governor of Madina, he used to wear those caps. His soldiers used to wear those caps too,” he said.
He further said that in Kashmir the cap was worn by the Islamic scholars in the past. “Merak Sahab, the respected Islamic scholar of Kashmir, used to wear those caps almost 52 years ago. After him, many scholars wore the cap of the same style. This is also called Rumi cap in Kashmir. Sufi saints and scholars also wear those caps,” he said.
For people who cannot afford the costly caps, he gets them caps manufactured from Hyderabad.
He further said that the Fez cap is part of the uniform of many international Islamic Universities, colleges and darul ulooms of Turkey, Morocco, Lebanon, Syria and Miser.
Another cap is called Bukhara cap which is made in the place called Bukhara, Uzbekistan. “When I saw the famous political personalities wearing that cap, I got it here and it was received well by the people. Some of the caps that I sell are not sold anywhere in India,” he said. He further said that his customers prefer to wear maroon, white, bottle green, black and brown colours mostly.
Owais Bhat, co-founder of Sozni caps Kashmir said that for the festive season, there are 50 varieties of intricate colorful designs of chinars, flowers and motifs of Sozni skull caps. The handmade designed caps are launched under three categories: premium, golden and silver.
He said, “in each stitch, we are reviving a tradition that goes back centuries. Our caps are hand stitched made by the finest artisans of Kashmir. The caps reflect the essence of culture and heritage.”
Introducing modern touch to the ancestral heritage, he said the caps are designed while taking color scheme into consideration. “The color of the thread combination should go well with the base,” he said.
Sozni Caps Kashmir was started by the duo of downtown, Owais Bhat and Mohsin Fayaz in 2019 and since then the caps have been decorating heads from personalities to commoners.
He further said that the caps are worn not only with Kurta Pajamas but with formal wear too.
“White, maroon, and black caps are mostly worn by customers but we have a wide range of colors including mustard, turquoise, purple etc. These caps are made from handpicked material. The material used is Pashmina. Since the cap is handmade, it is very comfortable and durable.”
In the run of decorating heads, women are second to none. Apart from stoles and scarves, there are ninja caps that are worn under the headscarf to cover the skull along with the neck. The caps are decorated with embellished borders or lacy borders.
“Gone are the days of black hijab. Today the hijabs are available in various colors from pastels to bold. One can decorate the plain hijab with embellished brooches. The hijabs are also embroidered and embellished,” said Sameer, an owner of a hijab shop in Goni Khan.
He said that the trend of hijab has come from the Middle East and Arab countries so the styles and designs that are worn in the middle east countries are demanded by the girls and women in Kashmir.
During soaring temperatures, the breathable fabric like chiffon and silk hijabs are mostly opted to keep the head cooler.
“Turkish hijab, Arabic hijab, Malaysian hijab and layered hijab are common choices of girls,” he said.
While some prefer to keep it simple, some want to stand out. The hijabs are studded with stones, pearls and laces which are mostly used on occasions.
“Hijab fashion is a statement too. On the internet, one can find different ways to wear it,” said Iqra Shah, a student.