The Chequered History of Pashmina Shawls

The Chequered History of Pashmina Shawls

The name comes from the Persian word Pashmina, meaning “made from wool”. The Pashmina wool comes from different breeds of Himalayan goats. These breeds include the Malra breed of Kargil region (India), Changthangi goat of the Changthang plateau of the Ladakh region, Chegu goat of Himachal Pradesh, andChyangara from Nepal. Along with these, there are the subspecies of the goat in Tibet, China, and Magnolia. All these goats are found more than 4000 meters above sea level.

Since the Indus Valley progress of Mahenjo-Daro, woolen shawls are the portrayal of sovereignty. You can get the portrayal of woolen shawls made in Kashmir in Afghan writings of the third century BC. The Kashmir woolen industry was work by fifteenth-century ruler Zayn-ul-Abidin after he brought Persian weavers there. Indeed, even the word Pashmina came from the Persian word Pashm that implies wool. A few sources guarantee that Pashmina was gotten by Mir Sayyid Ali Hamadani who showed up in Kashmir from Persia with around 700 skilled workers going with him.

Image Source – Outlook India

It is said that Mir Sayyid Ali Hamadani introduced this craft in the 13th century A.D. He had a group of artisans with him who taught the art of weaving different shawls, to Kashmiri soon-to-be artisans, out of Pashmina wool obtained from the Kashmiri goat located on the high Himalayas of Ladakh. The Industry flourished during this period.  When Mir Syed Ali Hamdani came to Kashmir, they bought new techniques for this industry from Persia and this craft starts flourishing on the international level.

From at least the 16th century till the early 19th, Kashmir was the sole region where the skills existed to exploit fully the qualities of pashm – not only its warmth and softness but also its capacity to take and retain natural dyes in all the colours of the rainbow – and to weave it into a polychrome textile of superlative delicacy.

A Kashmiri Pashmina shawl is made by the brilliant hands of craftsmen of Kashmir. All periods of Pashmina creation – from detailing, arranging, turning, weaving to colouring and weaving are finished by hand, which makes the creation of cloaks restricted, uncommon and expensive. Pashmina fiber is gotten exclusively by brushing and not by shearing as on account of sheep.

A Pashmina shawl may require a month to get finished by the craftsman, while the fine embroidery weaving on the cloak may require as long as two years. Such craftsmanship is finished by the needle-specialist that now and again it even costs the vision of his eyes.

World Production of Pashmina: 70% from China, 20% from Mongolia, and 1% from Kashmir (India) – however the 1% Pashmina from Kashmir is the best of all in light of the fact that lone the womenfolk of Kashmir can turn fine string out of Pashmina (12-16 microns width) on the wheels called Yender and for the explanation, it has been put under the Geographical Indication Marked items to class.

Pashmina shawls are the finest quality Kashmiri shawls crafted from very fine silk-like fiber. A pure Pashmina can be identified by testing the warmth and the softness of the texture. Pashmina shawls have a natural cream color to them. Wearing a handwoven Pashmina itself says luxury out loud. A pure pashmina can be a bit heavy on the money but it’s worth every penny you pay.

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