Do you know in India shawl used as honor your elders,its a symbol to respect,and to praise great achievers of our nation such as rastrapati awardees and while distributing padma shree and padma vibhushan in different fields. Now let us know about more facts about shawl.

History of shawl

Shawl word originated from urdu Persian word shal, concept originated from utariya from upper garment which used to wore in earlier ancient period, people used to carry as ghunghat the early evidence of shawl can be seen in 14th century when mir saiyyed ali Hamadani which is a Persian Sufi poet and Muslim scholar came to Ladakh,he came to know that Kashmiri goat are best species to produce soft woollen socks, and ruler of that period shah mir sultan qutubbuddin establish woolen factories from that pashmina art took birth.

According to UNESCO report in 2014,ali Hamadani was one of the principal historical figure who shaped the culture and economy of kashmir,Hamadani is regarded as having brought these various crafts and industries from Iran to Kashmir it is also believed that he brought with him 700 craftsman. The skill and knowledge that he brought to kashmir gave rise to entire industry.

Were some people believe Zain-ul-abidin who was ruler of 15th century, the eighth sultan of kashmir introduced pashmina shawl these ruler invited craftsman and weavers from central Asia and given training of the pashmina art to local people of kashmir.

Pashmina is a persian word originated from word pashm means wool or oon were pashm meant raw in kashmiri language.the variety of wool taken from various species of Himalayan goats such as chandangi, chayangra and carpa hircus from Ladakh ,Nepal and Tibetan region where sometimes temperatures decreases to -40°c. Symbol of luxury living style pashmina wool is 12 to 14 microns heavy but 6 times thicker from human hair, from giving density in pashmina we add silk and wool together these makes pashmina clothes more dilute.

In earlier era the pashmina stood for royal symbol and referred as fiber of king’s, it was also used as a rank indicator of mughal times.

Mughal emperor akbar was also influenced to carry shawl, in his period craftsman and weavers started embroidery on pashmina shawl ,even today we can see mughal style or mughal effect embroidery on shawl motifs. Akbar always prefer to wear shawl because of its features like softness,thickness and keeps body warm, he was so influenced he introduced his own style of carrying shawl which called as daushala and mughal emperor jahangir wrote about pashmina shawl in his autobiography tuzk-e-jahangiri.

Process of preparing shawl

Image Source : Pashmina

There is a long process to prepare a pashmina shawl,first of all take away wool from sheep skin, which grows one time in one year. Inspite of upper layer wool we collect inner layer wool of sheep which is near to skin,that’s why these process has to done carefully,which is a art in itself. Because of wool carried from inner layer that’s why  wool is soft and warm in nature. From a goat we collect 70- 500 grams of wools. Then after it takes 3 more process spinning , weavings and dyeing of shawl, for that it required high skilled labourers, weavers and handicrafts sometimes to prepare pashmina shawl it takes months or years.

Varieties of shawl

If you visit market the shawl you will found that are kaani and kashidakri. In year 1798 when napolean bonaparte was stationed in Egypt with his forces, he came across with pashmina shawl in the desert shawl had travelled all the way from kashmir through Iran and into Egypt. In hands of merchants legend has it that napolean send the shawl on to his wife empress Josephine bonaparte the empress liked the light and warm shawl so much that she believed to have more than 400 shawls, she started wearing it for significant in political and religious events sealing their reputation as the height of fashion amongst the elite and upper class in Europe.

Three important fabrics to stitch Kashmiri wool

That are shahtoosh, pashmina and raffal were shahtoosh shawl also called ring shawl. In most of the countries shahtoosh shawl are banned or illegal. Because these shawl is prepared by wool of Tibetan deer called chiru which is endangered deer. Sources says that pashmina shawl art got G.I tag.

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