Pashmina is considered the most exquisite craftsmanship in the world, which turns extremely warm and delicate cashmere strands into luxurious accessories. The fleece of the Changthangi goat is known as pashm, which is an Urdu word and originated in Farsi. This goat is exotic and is found only at 4200m. above sea level in Ladakh – Jammu and Kashmir, which makes the art of Pashmina even rarer and revered around the world. Pashmina has fascinated people around the world for centuries with its magical appeal and traditional grace. Perhaps this is the reason why we have chosen to show the world the elegance of this age-old art.
From the nomadic land of Changthang to luxury stores around the world, the
dramatic beauty and decorative appeal we see in luxury Pashmina scarves have a very humble beginning.
Changthang is the land of the Nomads, located east of Leh, at about 4200 m above sea level. The area is untouched, unusual and rare. The noise and sands of the city seem to fade until it reaches Changthang Peak. Maybe what makes it is the extreme climate, the high altitude and the remoteness. Because Changthang was unsuitable for farming, local nomads began raising Changthangi goats. For goats, these conditions are perfect. It is these goats that raise Cashmere – the same Kashmir that is cultivated in Kashmir to conceive Pashmina scarves. During the harsh winters, with temperatures below -40 ° C, Changthangi goats grow thick down of very fine and warm fibers under their coarse outer coat. This fine fibrous coat allows these goats to survive the cold winters. This fine warm fiber, called “pashm”, are shed by goats in the spring. Then they return from the Changpa tribe. The amount of quality fiber obtained from Pashmina is about 35% of the actual weight of Pashmina. Thus, if the goat gives 100 grams of pashm, then only 35 grams of it can be used for spinning fine yarn. To make a scarf, you need three goats. Shorter fibers of the second quality are used to spin slightly coarser yarns. They are then dyed and used to make patterns on scarves. To make a scarf, you need three goats. Shorter fibers of the second quality are used to spin slightly coarser yarns. They are then dyed and used to make patterns on scarves. To make a scarf, you need three goats. Shorter fibers of the second quality are used to spin slightly coarser yarns. They are then dyed and used to make patterns on scarves.
Changthangi goat pashma is considered par excellence and is the raw material used to weave Kashmir scarves. Westerners, unable to pronounce Kashmer, began calling it “Kashmir.”
Let us take you deep in the journey of this amazing craft, right from Ladakh, where it leads through luxury alleys of Kashmir to luxury shops around the world.
How is Pashmina processed?
The Changpa tribes of Ladakh, who raise the Changthangi goat and collect raw pashm, do not have the skills to process the delicate fibers and transform them into the expensive fabric we know.
Kashmiri weavers, who buy raw pashma, clean the dirty raw pashma fibers, comb the fiber and divide it according to its fineness. It is then spun by hand and adjusted to the bases, after which these bases are placed on the hand loom. The yarn is woven by hand and transformed into beautiful luxury scarves from Pashmina, which are famous all over the world.
What makes handmade Pashmina so expensive?
Weaving Pashmina has always been a very laborious job. From combing fleece from Changthangi goats to separating individual fibers, then manually spinning fibers to yarn, through the entire process of weaving and dyeing, and finally intricate embroidery.
The number of human hours worked during all these stages is astonishing!
Combing the fleece of all Changthangi goat cattle is carried out for several months. This fleece is a mixture of fine fibers, dirt, coarse hair from the outer areas of the goat, mixed with other organic material from the goat, such as sweat and dandruff. The next stage is the most difficult, involving the separation of the fine fleece from the coarse outer hair. This manual hair removal of the pashma fibers is a long process, and it takes up to 8 hours to separate to obtain a high-quality fine 50 g of pashma. Then the natural oil and other impurities from the pasture are removed. This freshly cleaned pasture is straightened by passing it through a straight wooden comb.
The spinning process.
The spindle is used to spin pashmina to form yarns from pashmina. This is usually done by the women in the house and requires a set of skills that is passed down through the generations. The spun yarn is doubled and twisted again with the help of the spinning wheel. Then it is wound on a large spool. This large spool is made of wooden blocks with large dowels fixed in them. Once the pashma has turned into a fine yarn it is sent to the weavers.
The weaving process,
Weavers lay the warp using continuous lengths of yarn. After setting the required number of threads the warp is lifted, spread and smoothed before mounting on the beam. The main beam is separated from the loom for this purpose is hung from the ceiling. The free ends of the warp are cut and inserted separately into the knits. It is then placed back in the loom, after the warp is set, a few tightening turns are made. There is only about 6-7 inches of base left for the weaver to start working. For ordinary scarves, the effigies are not painted. Rather, once the scarf is ready, it is painted in the desired color and sent to the embroiderer. However, if the weaver wants to weave Kani scarves, after consulting the designer and the weaver, the amount of yarn needed for each color is calculated. Then it is painted.
What paints are used to color Pashmina?
In the 17th century to this day, organic dyes are used for a wide range of colors. Experienced painters use only five to six different substances to produce a wide range of 64 colors.
Organic dyes include indigo, lacquer and kermes, wood and saffron for shades of blue, red, dark red and yellow. It is assumed that the large color palette is achieved by changing the strength of the dye and also by combining it with different dyes. Modern analysis has confirmed that all red and pink colors are derived from varnish. Purple shades are achieved by combining varnish with indigo in different proportions. Black dye is the only inorganic color. Iron sulfate, a chemical compound, is used to achieve a black color.
Painters are very secretive about their craft and do not involve outsiders in its various processes and techniques. The craft is very well guarded and kept in families and is passed down only from generation to generation. The secret of creating colors is kept in families, completely excluding outsiders from it. The reason for this deep secret is that acrylic paints cannot be used to paint Pashmina as they damage the fabric and make it rough.
What goes into the processing of Pashmina?
The processing of Kashmir in Pashmina goes through various stages. Each stage needs an expert craftsman to produce the beautiful Pashmina scarves that are valued around the world. There are 15 stages, starting from the collection of Pashmina fiber to the weaving of Pashmina scarves. After the Kashmir fabric is woven, it is dyed by hand. Then skilled embroiderers create their magic on it and transform it from a simple scarf into a delicate piece of beauty. The experience of the masters in these specific stages gives the hand-woven Pashmina scarves their superior quality.
What are the most famous Pashmina fabrics?
Pashmina can be available in plain fabrics, twill fabrics or diamond fabrics, also traditionally called “Kashmir-e-Bulbul” fabrics. Ordinary Pashmina scarves are mostly available in diamond knit. It adds more elegance and grace to the one-color scarf. Hand embroidery is usually made on Pashmina scarves from twill fabric, as they can better withstand the weight of the embroidery.
The hand-woven Kani scarf, one of the most expensive types of Pashmina scarves, is woven into the fabric of twill tapestries. It looks like twill fabric. But the differently colored yarns that shape the scarf’s design are interconnected to strengthen the scarf and avoid any gaps created due to the formation of the pattern.
What are the most exquisite embroideries used on Pashmina?
There are different types of embroidery decorating Pashmina, adding value and elegance to it. Among them are the embroideries Sozni, Paper Mache and Tilla.
Sozni embroidery uses thin needles and silk threads or “staple” yarns to create intricate floral or paisley patterns on Pashmina scarves. The color motifs are so carefully embroidered that the base of Pashmina is barely visible. Sozni requires patience and hard work, as making a scarf can take two to three years, with the master working on it for six hours every day.
Peppier Mache embroidery:
This type of embroidery has the same technique as Sozni, but the threads used are thicker and brighter. Satin threads are used to form bright motifs. Later, they can be outlined with black thread to obtain a convex effect.
Royal embroidered Pashmina is an unsurpassed luxury clothing to own. Tilla is a gold thread that is used to embroider paisley, flowers on the borders of the Pashmina scarf. The scarf with Tilla embroidery looks nothing more than a precious piece of jewelry. Made with thin needles size 28, this captivating embroidery gives the scarf a regal look.
Why is Pashmina so elegant?
the factors that determine the quality of Pashmina are its fineness, length and color of the fiber.
Raw pashma is available in colors ranging from white, considered first class, to brown and gray.
The diameter of the fiber determines its fineness and is measured in microns, ie. 1/1000 of a millimeter. The Changthangi goat breed is between 13 and 19 microns. The best quality yarn is made from the finest pashma fibers. A suitable fiber length for manually spinning Pashmina yarn in Pashmina yarn is preferably more than 5 cm. Yarn spun with longer fibers is less susceptible to peeling. Therefore, they are more in demand for weaving.
How does the hand-woven Pashmina fabric feel?
A truly handmade Pashmina will be felt by the soft touch and warmth. Pashmina has a slightly shiny appearance thanks to the weaving of twill tapestries. It reflects small amounts of light and gives it a luxurious look. When the handmade Pashmina scarf is hand-embroidered in Kashmiri embroidery, it looks and feels more regal. The scarves embroidered in Tila Dozi are patronized all over the world, especially by the rulers and nobles of the Mughals.
The classic Kashmir scarf is among the most exquisite textile fabrics. It is a product of perfect skills and artistry applied to one of the most delicate fibers in the world.
The Mughal and Sikh Maharaja emperors, Iranian nobles, French empresses, Russian and British aristocrats adored him.
Pashmina scarves have inspired a number of imitations, but none that could rival the original in their softness and charm of design. Pashmina scarves have left a lasting impression on the aesthetic sensibility of the modern world in Paisley, a motif developed in the workshops of Kashmir scarf designers.
What are the different sizes of Pashmina that are available?
Pashmina can be offered in the form of fabric.
Scarf with a size of 210×100. The most popular scarf is 200×75. However, you can customize each product to your liking.
Why is Pashmina so sought after?
Ever since Pashmina was discovered, it has been the most sought after fiber.
The reason: Extremely fine raw material for the delicate scarves from Pashmina, worn by rulers and emperors, kings and queens.
Pashmina is perhaps the only craft for which various invasions have been planned. Many contracts have been signed to gain control over its trade. It has always been a place of discord in the producer regions, collecting the most profitable revenues.
The Pashmina trade was protected from any political contradictions with various signed treaties, and this led to the flourishing of the shawl industry in Kashmir in the late 19th century.
The scarce availability and high prices, together with the combination of high demand and the ban on the export of yarn and fibers, make Pashmina the most sought after luxury and expensive fabric in the world