Made with love and passion, it's a true work of art, A fabric so divine, it'll warm up your heart.
Soft as a cloud, with a texture so fine, It'll caress your skin, like a soothing rhyme.
As I close my eyes and let my mind wander, I am transported back in time, to a world filled with elegance, grace, and beauty. The air is cool and crisp, and the gentle rustling of leaves fills my ears. The mountains rise majestically in the distance, their peaks dusted with snow. And in the valley below, a group of weavers sit huddled around a fire, their fingers deftly weaving together threads of soft, warm pashmina. This is the land of Kashmir, a place where time seems to stand still and tradition reigns supreme. It is a land of legends and myths, of stories passed down through generations. And it is in this land that the chronicles of pashmina come alive.
But the story of pashmina is more than just the story of a luxurious fabric. It is the story of people and their culture that has endured for generations. Pashmina came from the word pashm (the Persian word for wool). Pashmina is known for its ultra-refined version and is considered the softest wool in the world. It originated in Nepal centuries back but got its name from Persia.
If we’re talking about the qualities of Pashmina Shawls warmth stands first as the shawls are warm enough to hatch an egg. Delicate pashmina threads are even finer than human hair as the threads are extracted from a goat and are used to create exquisite accessories like Pashmina Shawls and scarves.
When did pashmina come into existence?
It is believed that the art of pashmina is as old as around 3000 years B.C but we have shreds of evidence from the 15th century when the ruler of Kashmir introduced the art of tapestry in shawls, that's when production of the making of Pashmina Shawls expanded.
Back in time, pashmina was used for royals and used as a fabric of kings. The cashmere wool used for pashmina shawls comes from Capra hircus commonly known as Chyangra. Chyangra is found at a high altitude of about 15000 ft. The temperature drop is visible in the quality of the wool.
Evidence of existence
By the 18th century,Pashmina Shawls had taken over the french and European fashion markets. A French magazine palate from 1809 where models are flaunting a pashmina shawl and embroidered pashmina gown.
Pashmina Shawls became fashion staple accessories and were famous across the globe for their one-of-a-kind specialty. Now, pashmina shawls are not just solid but they are embellished with embroideries like kalamkari and sozni kari like Cream Pure Pashmina Shawl With Multicolor Bharan Embroidery and Light Olive Handwoven Pure Pashmina Shawl with Floral Boota and Sozni Kari Work. The former is done by hand painting the shawl with natural paints and sozni kari is embroidery done using silk or high-quality cotton generally.
Why are pashmina shawls valued so high?
Pashmina shawls can look similar but never identical as each piece is specially handmade and cannot be recrafted the same as before. Hence, these Pashmina Shawls are priced accordingly. It can vary from thousands to several thousand depending on the artwork and grade quality of the fabric.
Pashmina Shawls are extremely luxurious and are owned by everyone who is mesmerized by luxury and artistic artefacts. Owning an original Pashmina Shawl is itself a luxury as these shawls are so finely crafted and varieties are infinite.
For Kashmiri weavers, weaving is not just a profession, but a passion. It is a way of life that has been passed down through generations, and one that they are determined to preserve. They work tirelessly, their fingers moving with a fluid grace, as they spin tales of love and loss, of joy and sorrow, all woven together in the threads of their creations.
Pashmina Shawls are reminiscent of royals. The beginnings of pashmina shawls were humble and it has made its way to the luxury markets across the globe.Author - Anjali Bhati