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Luxe Bag


Mohammed Rafiq



Maker's Story

The legendary art of handcrafted Pashmina could soon be a thing of the past, all thanks to machine-made cheaper and fake Pashmina products. The real handcrafted Pashmina, for which Kashmir was revered all over Europe and Asia has to bear the brunt of profit-making dishonest selling techniques which some sellers have gotten into. With the advent of machines, which can weave more than double the number of shawls woven by hand, artisans feel irrelevant and worthless and prefer their children do white-collar jobs, instead of opting for this generations-old inherited craft. The proliferation of machine-made Pashmina products has proved to be a big threat for artisans, whose livelihoods depend entirely on Pashmina making. Be it spinners, weavers, embroiderers, dyers, or even sellers of embroidery threads, machine-made Pashmina shawl making has walked heavily on their livelihoods. Spinners do not get their fair compensations, weavers do not get fine yarn from spinners because the yarn is being provided to those who own power looms, embroidery artisans are given double the amount of work, but not even half the compensation they deserve, hence artisans lives are in a mess in the current scenario. One of these artisans is Mohammed Rafiq Beigh. Beigh is a master of his time, with a record of training more than 100 young men and women. Anyone who wanted to learn the art of embroidery or weaving decades back would run to the Beighs who were masters of Pashmina making back then. Times changed, and so did the scenario of Pashmina. Artisans who had been spinning and weaving Pashmina for ages had to say goodbye to this craft and move to labour because it fetched at least a satisfactory pay. Beigh, with a small group of loyal; artisans did not however switch to jobs. They were the real patrons of the craft and never wanted it to fade away. And even though they earned less, they still remained attached with their looms, shawls, and this dim-lit room where they started. Beigh and Pashmina.com Like the young artisans who when wished to work for Pashmina were shown the doors of Beighs, we were welcomed there too. Our working model was highly appreciated. Fairtrade, ethical practices, and sustainability were just some topics that totally delighted the artisans, they were ready the next morning to work on our handwoven Pashmina shawls. Mohammed Rafiq Beigh is one of the senior embroidery artisans and what he does with his hands is nothing less than magic. We could not even imagine the pieces that he actually makes in reality. The perfect blend of colours, the perfect use of threads, and the perfect quantity of embroidery overwraps, scarves, and stoles that Rafiq does is beyond the imagination of an onlooker

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