Rich dark teal-coloured hand-embroidered cashmere pashmina, crafted using hand-loomed and hand-woven cashmere from the Ladakh plateau. The embroidery is done in the popular Sozni style, a needlepoint technique from the Kashmir valley of Hazratbal in Northern India, where Kashmir artisans have been practicing Sozni embroidery for over 500 years. The embroidery features vibrant threads of coral, orange and light blue, showcasing paisley motifs, as well as delicate branches of tiny leaves and flowers.
The cashmere fibres for this pashmina are sourced from Changra goats, which are not found in Kashmir itself. These goats reside in the high passes of the Ladakh Plateau in Northern India. Due to the cold mountain environment, the goats have a thick underlayer to protect them, along with a heavier outer hair for additional weather protection. The pashminas are made from the soft underlayer, which is carefully combed by shepherds by hand during the Spring season.
Once the bundles of cashmere fibres reach Kashmir, the soft undercoat and coarser outer layer are manually separated. The carded soft cashmere is then prepared for spinning, with the spinning process solely performed by the women of Kashmir. These skilled artisans employ traditional techniques that have been perfected over the years, spinning incredibly fine yarn using a charka wheel. The spun yarn is then wound around a Pritz wheel, simultaneously turning the wheel and giving the spun yarn a slight twist.
The finished hanks of cashmere are now ready for weaving. The fibres used for the 'warp' thread are coated with rice water to provide strength during the weaving process, and this coating is washed out afterwards. At this stage, the yarn can also be dyed using copper vats heated over open fires. The weaving itself is traditionally carried out by men. The warp, the long vertical thread running the length of the fabric, remains static throughout the process, while the weft, the horizontal thread, is passed through, going under and over the warp threads.
Wooden blocks are intricately carved with patterns for the embroidery. These patterns are then stamped onto the fabric using a paste made from rice water and gum, which is washed out afterwards. Skilled craftsmen in Srinagar and the surrounding villages undertake the embroidery, and depending on the intricacy of the pattern and the fineness of the stitches, it can take months to complete. Once the pashmina is finished, it is washed in the waters flowing down from the mountains, as the natural minerals in the cold water help enhance the surface of the cashmere. The pashminas are air-dried and then steam-pressed using a mechanical roller.
Each pashmina is handled with utmost care and crafted by skilled individuals using traditional techniques and manual processes. Additionally, a book titled 'The Kashmir Shawl' will be included, providing insights into the landscape and lives where these shawls are created.
This piece has the artisan's signature and took 6 weeks to complete.
Composition: Grade 'A' 100% Cashmere, originates from Ladakh.
Size: 75 x 200 cm, Weight: 155 gms
Care: Professional cleaning only.
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- Sale and Bargain section and promotion items e.g. Discounted, BOGOF or 3 for 2 promotions need to be returned within 10 days of dispatch date: after this they are non-refundable time, but you can still return them for a store credit or exchange for up to 28 days after dispatch to you;
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Last updated 28 November 2023.