Shawl Industry of Kashmir is the pioneer handicraft and has been here for times immemorial. Kashmiris have been making shawls for thousands of years owing to the cold climate and abundance of pure wool available in valley. On the eve of Mughal occupation of Kashmir, shawl industry was extensively established and achieved the highest degree of perfection. Jehangir, one of the Mughal emperors says about these shawls , ” These are so excellent that there is no need to praise them”.
Raw material: There are two principal types of fabrics that are used for making shawls – Pashmina, Raffel.
Pashmina: Pashmina – the word derived from Persian word meaning wool is known as cashmere in western countries. The fiber for this extremely soft, warm and light wool is combed from the undercoat of the Goats living in the most remote areas of the Himalayan Mountain range, Nepal & Tibetan border and Ladakh region of Kashmir. Prices of shawls made of Pashmina depend upon the quantity of pure Pashmina as it is usually blended with ordinary wool or rabbit’s hair. we have huge variety of selection to choose from. You can even order how much Pashmina you want in your shawl – 80 % Pashmina & 20 % Wool or vice versa. the combination can be of Pashmina with Silk / Wool / Cotton / Synthetic Fabric.
Kashmiri Pashmina shawls are world famous for their quality and embroidery because only Kashmiri Pashmina shawls are embroidered. The very expensive among these are “Jamawar shawls” which are embroidered all over, and normally take one full year or more for completion; other Pashmina shawls Jali Shawls, Doordar Shawl, Bootidar Shawl, Neemdoor Shawl etc being only embroidered to a lesser extent, normally the central area, sieve-like embroidery or just a strip along its borders.
Raffle is the simplest kind of the fabric that is used to make shawls in Kashmir