Willow wicker is used to knit a variety of baskets and trays, which come in different sizes and shapes for different uses. The large baskets are called 'Kiltu'. It is also used to form the outer shell in Kangri.
The stems are arranged in length and height. Farmers then sell these trunks to entrepreneurs engaged in wicker willow making. They then send these bars to artisans depending on the product they are supposed to make. Artisans boil the stems in a large pot of water overnight to soften. After boiling, they removed the bark from the stem. The stems are then dried for several days in direct sunlight to completely remove moisture. The stem, free of moisture, is used by craftsmen to make beautiful wicker willows.
Shalabugh, a remote village in the central Ganderbal district of Kashmir, pioneered the art of knitting the famous willow baskets. The village was designated a 'Model Village' in 2002 and is the largest producer of wicker baskets in the valley. It is also known as the "willow village" of Kashmir. About 90 percent of the inhabitants of the village have been attached to the craft for the past fifty years. More than six thousand families used to make a living from the business, but things have changed in the village now.