Centuries ago, when the ancient city of Srinagar nurtured the fragile skill of pashmina weaving & perfected it into the splendid craft of Kashmiri shawls, the work had value.
It was a matter of pride to own shawls of pashmina. The work of the craftsmen was regarded as the epitome of beauty, elegance & grandeur. The art of weaving and embroidery got passed down through generations.
But since then, a lot has changed. A silence has fallen over the looms, the colours of shawls have dimmed and the artisans are staring at a world of uncertainty.
Living in the homes that are big enough only to lodge a loom, families find it difficult to carry on with their craft.
One single piece takes months to be made, that lone piece is the only thing that earns them just enough to make their ends meet for a year.
Today, pashmina work is not a lost art; rather, it is a dying art.
This distinctive work requires years of training on sorting, spinning, weaving and creating embroidery.
The craftsmen’s successors are not willing to carry forward the craft.
The Artisans’ pay-outs are not structured or regularized by government, so the payment is as low as labour & a devalued produce.
Inspite of thousands of people across the globe admiring their work, it has led to financial apathy as the amount these craftsmen earn isn’t enough for their basic family needs.
Moreover, marketing their products to the outside world is a challenge, since pashmina’s value is not only in the material, but also in the work done on the piece.
Our purpose of being in this sector is to initiate a change somewhere.
It’s an art worth saving and sharing for the generations to come.
Looking behind the products, we want to take you to these people who work on them, hoping that your support might help them to carry on for another year.