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It’s not just today that Pashmina fabric and art has patronage from around the world. Even with royal patronage this art form had been favoured. Pashmina has fascinated kings, royals, and people all over the world by its magical allure and a traditional grace. Perhaps this was the reason why we chose to showcase the exquisiteness and regal demeanour of this centuries old art to the world. Pashmina was very famous among the Kings, queens, royal families, and nobles all over the world and were very fond of it. Pashmina was discovered in the 16th century under the Mughal rule and by the mere looks of it they were awe struck and swooned by its appearance. Slowly and steadily the pashmina fabric gained popularity all around the world. It is said Josephine, wife of Napoleon Bonaparte received Pashmina shawl from him as a gift. A few hundred shawls is what she is believed to possess at that time. Starting in the late 18th century Kashmiri shawls started to become a part of the elite fashion class of the European people and flooding its markets. Hand-embroidered Pashmina shawls and Fabric were extensively used by Maharaja Ranjit Singh to decorate as well as add beauty to his majesty's court
Pashmina the fabric is considered the finest craftsmanship in the world which transforms the exceptionally warm and delicate Cashmere threads to opulent accessories.
The finest and warmest cashmere fibre in the world grows on the meanest pasturelands and arid topographies in the world,The Persian word ‘ Pashm’ meaning fine wool is from where the word Pashmina has been derived. Pashmina since time immemorial has been synonymous with terms like luxurious, soft, warm and extremely light fine fibre. In the world of textiles it is considered as one of the finest fibres, to absorb moisture, dyes and colours is a natural quality that this fabric possesses.
In the Great Himalayas of Tibetan plateau is found the Changra goat is where the making starts. Temperatures varying from – 40°C to 40°C is where they are inhabited, above sea level 15,000 feet.
In late winter and early spring, is when the pashmina is harvested when the goats naturally shed their undercoat
After the natural sheding takes place the next step is combing because with coarse hair pashmina is usually intermingled which is further followed by dusting the pashmina for removal of impurities.
On the spinning wheel is where the thread for the Pashmina shawl is converted from wool. On the same charkha twisting and piling of yarn is done. These yarns are then made into hanks on the wooden reeler
For use as wrap and weft the yarn is separated.
Mounted on a wooden spindle and on a large wooden stand with the opening of hanks the weaving takes place. On a wooden spool the yarn is wound.
The next step to be followed is on the ground rods are inserted and by using sticks the yarn is transferred on the iron rods.
The wrap produced is stretched by the wrap dresser.
The wooden loom is where the pashmina fabric takes its formal shape. From the bunch of threads that hangs in front of him on the loom the weaver picks another skein if a thread breaks. After the fabric is produced on the loom it is followed by washing which consists of soap mixed in the cold water.
To make the pashmina fabric perfect in beauty and appearance it is brushed, clipped and also tweezed with the help of tweezers for any unevenness if present
With great precision and perfection the dyers dye the pashmina with each piece dyed individually in hot water just to make it sure that the water is just below the boiling point with dye mixed in it. In the sun pashmina is left stretched to let it dry. The Final Pashmina comes into picture after all these procedures are followed
We feel strongly about our responsibility to educate and inform our customers as company working to preserve our heritage and safeguard our unique arts and crafts.
Even though indistinguishable from the handspun one Pashmina made from machines, give bubbles and have smaller life in comparison to hand made ones. Pashmina too has suffered as machine and technologies penetrate our lives and there is vey less possibility of it remaining untouched in the near future.
To ensure all our shawls are of the most immaculate quality we have been continuously trying to revive the art of weaving and embroidery along with preserving the craftsmanship; a legacy of crafts and arts that has been bestowed upon the Kashmir valley
The art of sozni is a popular needle-point thread embroidery, is an age-old craft from Kashmir valley. Sozni artisans set out to embellish and adorn every day with ornamental designs using an array of different stitches, thread, and different types of colours.
Sozni comes from the Persian word ‘suzan’, which means needle.
Sozni embroidery is a symbol of the artist’s perseverance, dedication, and hard work. The work involves a lot of time and patience of a craftsman. In order to make this embroidery, single-needle is needed. This embroidery requires massive hard work and concentration of a maker. Sozni work is a powerful expression of dedication and talent for the artisans. Sozni is one of the most sophisticated forms of needle embroidery in the World. This extremely fine, delicate and artistic needlework is only practiced in Kashmir and has no parallels anywhere. It takes each shawl months to complete and sometimes one or two years. Sometimes the embroidery patterns are so dense that the Pashmina base is barely visible.
The leisurely pace and precision of a craftsman’s hard work ensures excellence. The process of making a Sozni embroidered Pashmina is a meticulous one.
To set the embroidery apart from its brethren in the region Starting with individual motifs of flowers traced pattern is first filled in with embroidery, then when the defining the outlines is finished, the motifs are connected with continuous lines. After a single patch is approved then it is repeated. Over a basic stitch Sozni stitch is a fine couching stitch with a reinforcing stitch.
Kashmiri sozni shawls are those fine beautiful clothing items used by women over arms, shoulders and sometimes over the head as well as they have unique designs to set the embroidery apart from its brethren in the region. Sozni work is as classic as it is contemporary. The pattern of design to be embroidered is traced on to the fabric surface Pashmina shawls are timeless pieces and their relevance only grows with time. However, what gives Kashmiri shawls that beautiful design and style is actually the embroidery they have on them. The integrity of handmade products is very different. Kashmir has been a hub of handmade wonders, be it shawl making, embroideries, or architecture. The valley has always clung to what its locals create which is timeless.
Specialized tracers with carved blocks of walnut wood dipped in a watery solution of charcoal powder mixed with a binder is how the tracing of the pattern is embossed on the fabric to be embroidered.
Choice of design and pattern are embossed on the fabric with the help of carved wooden blocks
To the artisan is given the traced fabric once the patterns and colours are finalised. Silk thread is used for the embroidery purposes. On the entire fabric that is to be embroidered initially one patch of embroidery is first completed to test the balance of colour and design.
The final product is ready after the fabric is washed and then ironed.
Kanihama is from where Kani shawl has its origins, 20 kilometres away from the main city, a small village in Sinagar. Kani making monopoly was once only in Kanihama region of Srinagar. The art of Kani making was later learned by artisans from other villages also. Kanihama comes from two words, ‘Kani’ meaning wooden sticks, and ‘Hama’ meaning village. ‘Kanis’ known as small sticks of wood are used for the craft of weaving. To create magical patterns over a shawl colourful weft thread is wound around Kanis
Like a carpet Kani shawl is woven. With wefts has to be introduced, a veil of warp threads in front of the weaver. Wound around bobbins are the colourful wefts. With an overall design to weave a Kani shawl 75 to 100 bobbins are in use at a single time. Starting from the design till the finishing the whole process is time consuming and requires utmost dedication and attention of the weaver. Rather than stamped or designed over the shawl itself, a code, called ‘Talim’, on a graph paper is where the design is written on, which only a weaver has the ability to understand and move his hands accordingly as mentioned on the paper.
Talimguru is the one who prepares the coded pattern. In converting design to codes he is an expert.
As per the design requirement a number of colourful bobbins are arranged. Talim/coded language is what brings a Kani shawl into the real world. Two bobbins are joined together as soon as a different colour is required in the design and till the shawl is complete the process is continued
Hand woven are these essence of luxury crafts.