“The heaven on Earth”, a title which the top most state on the maps of India has been relishing for years now is endowed with a spectacle of natural beauty in all its magnificence.
The concept of shawls originated 700 years ago. Kashmir and its traditions are so rich and beautiful that it has garnered a special status in the world. Its glorious history is incomplete without its century old speciality product – Kashmiri Shawls. As we know, Kashmir is well known for its weaves and ancient craft and traditional artisans. The designs are classic and valuable because they are known to be handmade. The artisan and skilled weaver community of Kashmir and their novel craft is world renowned with many people having a passion for buying quality weaves of pure pashmina.
Silk and cotton thread is used for the original embroidery of a pashmina shawl. The artisan has to twist the raw silk until it fits the eye of the needle. The workmanship is so intricate and time consuming that some embroidered shawls take 2 to 4 years’ time to complete. This is the reason why these shawls are exclusive and quite expensive too!
The basic fabric of a Pashmina is of the three types – Shah Tush, Pashmina and Raffal. Shah Tush is the king of wool, the shawl can pass through a ring and is also known as Ring shawl. World over known as cashmere wool, it comes from a special goat (Capra hircus) living at an altitude of 12000 to 14000 feet reared by shepherd nomads around famous Pangong Lake in close vicinity of western Tibet. Raffal is a popular type of shawl made out of marino wool.