Pashmina, the gold wool as defined in Persian, is an authentic craft treasured by the artisans and weavers of "Kashmir" for centuries now. The legacy of the Pashmina Shawls lives on as a fascinating story of its origins, the process of production, the impressive works of the artisans and weavers, and the adoration of the royals and wealthy.
WeaverStory strives to bring you only the finest quality Pashmina Shawls. Each Pashmina Shawl is intricately designed and handcrafted by master artisans and weavers for you to cherish a piece of warmth, luxury, and elegance close to your heart. While you are bound to be allured by the exquisite appeal of the WeaverStory Pashmina shawls, you might also feel curious to know more about the making process of a Pashmina Shawl. This article gives you a glimpse of everything that goes into making an extraordinary WeaverStory's Pashmina Shawls.
The Imperial Admirers of the Pashmina
Pashmina, considered among the finest craftsmanship on the planet, miraculously transforms into extraordinarily beautiful shawls and accessories. The most coveted by the royal families and fascinated individuals from all over the world, the Pashmina often excels at alluring admirers through its mesmerizing charm, the warmth of love and care, and intricate designs. Evidence of this lies in the history of the Mughal Empire, where it was considered a craft that symbolized royal status. Babur pioneered the practice of bestowing Khilat, also known as the "robes of honour," in recognition of the fierce services, loyalty that stood second to none, and ever-progressing achievements of the members of his court. The "khilat" included garments such as turbans, Kashmiri shawls, robes, trousers, and more, all made out of Pashmina wool. Since pashmina was too expensive to buy, it eventually earned the reputation of being an heirloom that would rather be inherited than purchased.
These breathtakingly beautiful shawls then gained enormous popularity in Europe after Napoleon Bonaparte's wife, Empress Josephine, successfully stole the limelight while wearing them. The Pashmina scarves for women are even well suited to the French, as their impeccable warmth and distinctive yet extraordinary aesthetic appeal only amp up the elegance of their French gowns. Well, this was how the pashmina rose to fame and became one of the most treasured cashmere heirlooms in the world. Let’s learn a little more about how these masterpieces, intricately designed shawls, are made.
The Nomadic Land of Changthang: It All Begins Here...
Every winter, the exotic Changthangi goat, also known as the Pashm, which can only be found at 15000 feet above sea level in the Changthang region east of Leh, sheds its coat.The herders of the Changpa tribe collect this wool by rearing the goats in extreme climatic conditions with a temperature that drops to approximately -40 °C.
*Fun fact: Each Changthangi goat only sheds approximately 150 g of wool, which means that to make one extraordinary Pashmina Shawl, wool from at least 3 to 4 goats is required.
The Art of Transforming Wool into Yarn
The cleaning process begins once the raw material is collected from the goats. A thorough cleaning by hand-combing these delicate fibres is carried out to ensure that no impurity infiltrates the quality of Pashmina wool. To finish the combing process, the dehaired raw pashmina is repeatedly impaled on an upright comb.
Yarun - The Art of Wounding the Yarn
Once the yarn is produced, the process moves on to the next step, Yarun. Yarun (in Kashmiri) is the process by which the warp is made by manually winding the Pashmina yarn across 4 to 8 iron rods erected on the ground. To complete a warp, approximately 1200 threads are extended across 10 meters, and a specialized individual weaving the warp has to walk 1200 x 10 meters, or in other words, 12 kilometers, all around iron rods several times.
1. Bharun - The Dressing of the Warp
Before the warp can be threaded onto the handloom, it must be dressed by a person known as a bharangur, or in other words, a warp dresser. In Kashmir, the process known as Bharun entails stretching and fixing yarn inside the heddles of a loom known as Saaz in "Kashmiri".
2. Tulun - The Winding of Yarn
Upon drying in the sun, the stretchy yarn is wound on wooden spindles, also known as "prech" in Kashmiri. Tulun is the Kashmiri word used to describe this process. Ten rounds of yarn, tied with a cotton thread as one or two points, constitute one unit. The amount of money paid to the spinner is almost always proportionate to the fineness of the yarn; the finer selection is always worth more money than the rest. The process then moves on to the weaving part.
3. Wonun - The Weaving of the Pashmina
A Kashmir Pashmina Shawl for men and women is then woven using centuries-old techniques and procedures. In Kashmir, an artisan named Wovur weaves the Pashmina Shawl with a process that is referred to as Wonun. The weaver appears to be working like a pianist, using both his feet and his hands at the same time to weave the yarn.
4. Dyeing - Changing the Aesthetic Appeal of the Pashmina
Pashmina is a beautiful natural wool that requires natural fibre dyes to look aesthetically appealing when finished. According to the requirements, the yarn is dyed by specialized dyers known as Ranger.
5. Approval - One step closer to embroidery
A skilled craftsman, known as Voste, approves or requests changes to the design of the pashmina. Once it is approved, the shawl is then given to the artisans for embroidery, who work with the selected colors to finish the embroidery work.
6. Hand-embroidery – The Wand of Magic
Once approved by the voste, the embroidery artisans work their magic to design some of the finest masterpieces, all by hand. Only skilled traditional artisans perform hand embroidery and sequin work on the pashminas. The brilliant craftsmanship of the hand embroidery is enhanced even more by the fact that only the best craftsmen have the patience and expertise to meticulously embroider the beautiful floral motif into nothing more than an ultrafine garment. This is how each of the extraordinarily mesmerizing masterpieces of WeaverStory, such as the Handwoven Black Jamawar Pure Pashmina Shawl With Heavy Soznikari Work and Light Pink Handwoven Pure Pashmina Shawl With Sozni Kari And Kalamkari are made.
7. Washing in the Spring Water
A professional washer washes the pashmina in spring water, using mild detergents, and striking the fabric against a smooth stone over and over again. The shawl is then expertly dried and ironed before being shipped as a finished product.
Are you stunned by the process of making the finest Pashmina shawls? Invest in an heirloom-worthy WeaverStory pashmina now, and cast a spell of luxury and elegance every time you wrap it around you.
Author: Simran Shaikh