There are a myriad of craft traditions in India, which depend on social, economic and regional factors. The present status of crafts in India owe much to the rich craft traditions of the past. The tribes of Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand are well known within and outside the country for fabrication of woollen clothes of several kinds like shawls. It is a simple item of clothing, loosely worn over the shoulders, upper body and arms, and sometimes also over the head. It is usually a rectangular or square piece of cloth that is often folded to make a triangle
but can also be triangular in shape. Shawls are used in order to keep the body warm. The craft of shawl making can be found in tribal homes where they weave for earning money.
The beautiful hills of Uttarakhand are abode to the craft of weaving wool, initiated by the women of the villages. A craft, that has found its roots in the region just 3-4 generations back, has now become inseparable from the lives of the natives — the Bhotias and the Gadvalis. Bhotias are predominantly a nomadic tribe in Uttarakhand. They spend the winter months in higher hilly areas , obtaining wool and weaving fabrics, and in the summer months in low lying areas, growing beans, potatoes, apples and almonds. Owing to its location Uttarakhand provides climate condition most appropriate for sheep. This has given the state due scope to extract some of the finest quality of wool from these animals. These woolen products are dominant craft in this area.
After the sheep are sheared, the wool is washed and dried, ready to be made into yarns for weaving. Cleaning and carding of the wool is traditionally done by hand.
Most of the sales happen during the local festivals like Nanda Devi Mela Almora, Uttarayani Mela Bageshwar, Jaljivi Mela Pithoragarh, etc. Almora has been producing its famous tweeds, woolen pankhi, carpets & artistic woolen shawls, etc. Now a days people learn weaving designs and produce there own products and sell them in the market. Some of the common products are shawls, stoles, pankhi, scarfs. etc.