The legacy of Indian art and culture resides in Kashmir; and this art and culture spans over a variety of handicrafts inclusive of Kashmiri Shawls. Shawls of Kashmir were popular even at the times of emperor Ashok ((3rd C BC). However, it is said that the Shawl Industry was set up in Kashmir by Sultan Zain-Ul-Abidin (1420-1470 A.D). He encouraged the promotion of art as an organized trade; called “Pashm” or Pashmina.
History of Kashmiri shawls
The history of shawl weaving in India is far more ancient, which can be closely associated to the references in holy texts like Ramayana, Mahabharata, and Buddhist literature. Shawls are also offered as a symbol of respect in India. Considering the contemporary usage of Kashmiri Shawls; also spelled as Cashmere Shawls is largely based on fashion trends. For the everyday real time look or that eye-catching luxurious appeal in parties, Shawls can be wrapped to feel warm and loving. Pashmina Shawls are a must-have in your wardrobe to get that Lady-like appearance. The important is the variety and color you choose for yourselves.
The variety of Shawls available in the market is inclusive of Pashmina, Shahtoosh, the legendary ‘ring shawl’, ‘tapestry’ shawl, traditional kani shawls, amli or embroidered shawl, and more. Apart from keeping you warm and cozy, these shawls make you look stylish that can be worn on any season, event or occasion. Today, there are comprehensive array of Shawls in the market with heavy embroidery work, in various colors and designs. However, when buying a shawl, look for the three things, i.e. lightness, warmth, and softness. Shawls that are lighter are easier to style and also go well with all kinds of garments including woolen and non-woolen. Obviously, Shawls are mostly worn and specifically designed to be worn in winters, so, the other most considerable thing is warmth. Last but not the least, a soft shawl look more classy and glamorous that add the luxurious effect on the personality of the wearer.
Pashmina – An exquisite draping for all ages
The name comes from Pashmineh, that derived from Persian pashm (“wool”). The wool is acquired from pashmina goat that is a special breed of goat found on higher altitudes of Himalayas in Northern India, Nepal, and Pakistan. Shawls made from this wool are manufactured in the regions of Nepal and Kashmir for thousand of years. Reportedly, Pashmina Woolen Shawls find mentioned in Afghan texts between 3rd century BC and the 11th century AD. These shawls are popular for texture as soft as silk and cozy warmth, as these goats can withstand the chill of high altitudes of Himalaya.
For all those fashion conscious ladies and men, carrying a shawl is like having a style statement. And this statement goes classy, when the carrying style is regularly experimented. A Shawl can be worn over a shoulder or on the neck like a knot. Careful attention should be paid on knotting style as the look of the shawl and the personality of the wearer mostly depend on the same. When it comes to price, a beautiful pashmina or ring shawl can be found a little expensive. The price of an embroidered shawl mostly depend the intricacy of the craftsmanship.