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Finest Cashmere in the hands of Artisans

January 3rd, 2023 | 108 views
Finest Cashmere in the hands of Artisans

Artisans of Kashmir are an integral part of Kashmir's rich handicraft of Pashmina. Living along the meadows of Kashmir, artisans have been nature stricken for years. They have inspired themselves with nature's intricate songs. When the goats in Ladakh are herded by the Changpa tribe for fine wool, the artisans gleam in the beauty of its crafting. Awaiting the finest wool, artisans dance in the breeze of the Vale to mesmerize the fashion world with their high skill of Pashmina. Moreover, the finest wool is procured from the Changhthangi range and crafted in Kashmir. Therefore, the crafting of the finest wool of Cashmere is Pashmina Craft.

The Changpa tribe comb out the finest Cashmere

Changhthanghi is a high-altitude place with severe winters that goes to a minimum of -50°C. The scapes of the place are covered with snow and storms in the winter season. It is the place with the harshest winters. The fauna around and in the Changhthanghi have adapted to the freezing temperature by self-regulating the body temperature in the winter season. Likewise, a rare species of Changra Goats dwell near the feet of Changhthanghi. They are also called Cashmere Goats. Also, medium in size with twisted horns. They have adapted to the temperature by developing an undercoat of fine wool to protect their bodies and deliver warmth to themselves.

changthangi goat being combed
Changthangi goat being gently combed by the tribesmen

Eventually seasons change and the temperature changes. The summer season proves to be moderately hot. Therefore, the goats shed their wool off against trees and rocks around. In addition, the tribesman also combs out manually the excess wool to let them feel the freshness of summer. The wool is called Cashmere. It is the finest Cashmere all over the world with 12 to 16 microns in diameter.

To curate the fine accessories from the fine Cashmere wool, the tufts of wool are taken to the Kashmir Valley. After the tufts of wool reach the valley of Kashmir, the supremely premium Art of Pashmina is commenced. It is a stepwise procedure of curating fine Cashmere accessories.

Crafting of Cashmere begins in Kashmir

spinning cashmere
Artisan spinning the cashmere on the charkha

The foremost step is cleaning the Cashmere wool. There is a thorough cleaning of the wool to get all sorts of dirt out. After the process of cleaning, the next step is the procedure of Spinning. It begins by giving the local women the Cashmere wool to spin fine Cashmere yarn. The womenfolk of the valley mainly spin Cashmere wool. The process is done on the wooden wheel/charkha called tinder in the local language. Thus, the women artisans meticulously spin the Cashmere wool to the miraculously fine Cashmere yarn.

Afterwards, the spun Cashmere yarn is taken to the local workshops/karkhanas to move ahead in the Pashmina Art. The next process is the weaving process. The weaving is the conversion of Cashmere yarn to fine Cashmere fabric. The intricate warps and wefts create the beautiful woven Cashmere fabric. Therefore, the most common pattern in weave is chashm_e_bulbul or the diamond weave. The weave is exclusively the masterpiece in itself. The eloquently woven Cashmere fabric goes on to further design.

Also read: HOW MANY HOURS ARE REQUIRED FOR WEAVING A PASHMINA SHAWL?

Designs in Pashmina Art

zari pashmina shawl
A canvas of emotions, holding up stories, soaked in deep colours is what this Pashmina right here portends

There are several styles crafted in Pashmina Art viz; Cashmere wraps, Cashmere Scarves and Pashmina Shawls. The design of each begins with the weaving process by cutting the Cashmere fabric to adequate lengths. Further, there are versatile designs in Pashmina Art including Embroidered, Patterned, Printed, Ombre, Solid, Kani, Embellished, Reversible, etc. Before the design begins, the Cashmere base is dyed in the Valley with precision and care.

There is the process of Dyeing by the dyer or Rangur in Kashmir to pervade Pashmina Shawls with the tinges of nature. In addition, the Designing begins in Kashmir itself where artisans work manually on each masterpiece with the beautiful intricacies in designs or Naqoosh.

Also read: PURE PASHMINA - MYTHS AND FACTS

Pashmina Craft originated in the 13th century

When a Persian saint was travelling across the globe in the 13th century, the Pashmina Craft began. Mir Syed Ali Hamdani was a sage from the Middle East. The footprints of a saint Mir Syed Ali Hamdani from the middle east came to Kashmir with 700 craftsmen to adorn the beauty of the valley and to spread the holy message. He rested his feet in the region of Changhthanghi Ladakh. Thus, the saint landed its appearance in the Changhthangi Mountain in Ladakh. While perceiving nature, he locked his eyes on the Goat of marvellous wool. Awestruck with the softness and fineness of the wool, he made socks out of it and gifted them to the Sultan Zain-ul-Abideen of Kashmir Valley. Perceiving the beauty of Cashmere wool, suggested making an industry that cultivates the Pashmina in desirable styles.

Also, the name Pashmina, derived from the Persian word, pashm, meaning "the soft gold" is exquisite in being. In addition, the exquisite luxury of the Pashmina Shawl is beautified with the high skill of artisans who have worked day and night to unravel the marvels of Pashmina as a Crafting of the finest Cashmere.

Also read: PASHMINA - THE TOKEN OF INGENIOUS CRAFT

We, Pashmina.com, are the largest curators of pure and handcrafted Pashmina products in the online space. We are on a mission to revive this dying art by spreading our wings throughout the world by way of our online platform. Our website serves as a window to our range of products that are luxurious and have the highest quality. We offer the widest range, certified quality, luxurious packaging and free shipping to over 150 countries.

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