Whilst most of the professions were chosen by young men because of financial hardships or poverty itself, Pashmina making and practices related to it were chosen by many because of the love, respect and an inclination towards the craft. Families did not do Pashmina work because they needed to, but because they wanted to. For this reason, Pashmina remained revered since its inception in the 16th century and ran amongst generations of artisans One such family is the Wani family which hails from Tangmarg, a place located 40 kilometers away from the main city. Wani family has been associated with the craft for more than 20 years now. Their youngest son - Farooq Ahmed Wani - is the most sentimental patron of Pashmina making and considers it as worship. Farooq says that Pashmina will live as long as he is alive, in fact even after his death, there should be weavers, embroiderers and spinners to continue their family legacy. Farooq was just 16th years old when he decided to quit studies and work as Pashmina embroidery artisan, not because he had financial problems, but this work intrigued him every time he watched his father do the same. "I could wait for laying my hands on a soft and smooth Pashmina, and embroider it in designs that I had made up in my mind. And even though I didn't earn too much when I started, but it gave my heart peace and a sense of contentment", says Farooq who has been doing it for 20 long years now. He enjoyed respect and reverence that Pashmina artisans were given in the past The current scenario however isn't too favorable for Pashmina artisans. With the introduction of machines and power looms, the real Pashmina art is experiencing a deterioration. The owners of power loom are proud producers of more than double the quantity a handweaver can prepare. Hence weavers switch jobs and it leads to a decline in original and pure Pashmina making. What is left in the market are either fake copies or machine-made Pashmina which are nowhere close to pure and handmade Pashmina that Kashmir has ever been famous for.
Farooq And Pashmina.com
It feels bad that youngsters do not opt Pashmina weaving or embroidery as their professions, not even part-time. But there are people like Farooq who have a strong will to have children choose this generations old profession and lead it to the glory it enjoyed in the past. Farooq really appreciates working with Pashmina.com and is exceptionally grateful to us for promoting handmade Pashmina again and going against machine made pieces. Farooq wishes us good luck in this endeavor as we, along with him, tread the path of ethical business practices, fair trade and sustainability.