- No comments
The shawls made in Kashmir occupy a pre-eminent place among textile products; and it is to them and to their imitations from Western looms that specific importance attaches. The Kashmir shawls is characterized by the elaboration of its design, in which the “cone” pattern is a prominent feature, and by the glowing harmony, brilliance, depth, and enduring qualities of its colours. The basis of these excellences is found in the very fine, soft, short, flossy under-wool, called pashm or pashmina, found on the shawl-goat, a variety of Capra hircus inhabiting the elevated regions of Tibet. There are several varieties of pashm, but the finest is a strict monopoly of the maharaja of Kashmir. Inferior pashm and Kirman wool — a fine soft Persian sheep’s wool — are used for shawl weaving at Amritsar and other places in the Punjab, where colonies of Kashmiri weavers are established. Of shawls, apart from shape and pattern, there are only two principal classes: (1) loom-woven shawls called tiliwalla, tilikar or kani kar — sometimes woven in one piece, but more often in small segments which are. sewn together with such precision that the sewing is quite imperceptible; and (2) embroidered shawls — amlikar — in which over a ground of plain pashmina is worked by needle a minute and elaborate pattern. The Kashmir valley is known for its shawls throughout the world. Kashmir shawls are mainly of three types- wool, pashmina and shahtoosh. They differ on the basis of the fabric used to make them. Simultaneously, all these shawls differ to a great extent in their prices also. The woolen shawls are the most affordable, being within reach of the common man. While, the shahtoosh shawls are the most expensive, usually a one-in-a-lifetime purchase. The pashmina shawls fall in between. Have a look at different types of Kashmiri shawls yourself!
The woolen shawls of Kashmir have beautiful embroidery work done on them. The price of the woolen shawls depends upon the type of wool used and the fineness of the embroidery. Kashmiri wool, known as raffel, is 100 percent pure and the embroidery done is quite unique to the valley.
Kashmir Pashmina shawl is one of the most popular shopping items of the state. The shawls are adorned with exquisite embroidery and are extremely soft. The main types of embroidery done on the Pashmina shawls are sozni, papier-mache and aari. Sozni, needlework in a panel on the sides of the shawl, uses abstract designs or stylized paisleys and flowers as motifs. Papier-mache and needlework is done either in broad panels on either side along the breadth of a shawl or covers the entire surface of a shawl. Motifs consist of flowers and leaves outlined in black. Aari is hook embroidery that makes use of flower design for its motifs.