Pashmina or Pashm is a Persian word meaning “soft gold”. It accentuates and emphasizes the elements of softness, featherlight and eternal warmth, making it really as precious and worthless like gold. It’s a fine product attained from a breed of goats known as Chanthangi goat, which are reared within the Tibetan space of 4000 meters in winter. The wool from this goat is specifically obtained from the undercoat of those goats. It’s six instances finer than any animal hair, so fine the wool must be hand-spun by a skilled crafter, not by machines, which makes it rare and costly.
The Pashmina shawls existence has been from the Indus Valley civilization 3300 BC to Mohenjo Daro 2500 BC. What unfolded was when a well-known priest of that era’s trefoil patterns was unveiled. Pashminas have been worn by the royals and elites for centuries. Many in style aristocrats who were in love with this material, naming few have been Akbar, Jehangir and Josephine (spouse of Napoleon). It became so standard when Napoleon discovered Pashmina, he gifted it to his spouse Josephine. She was so happy with the material that she requested her husband to purchase some more so she might reward it to her friends. She was known to have collected more than four hundred wraps over the span of three years. That’s when it turned a style statement among the many Europeans. Centuries later it came into limelight when Princess Dianna started wearing them. And now, the Hollywood celebrities are spotted wearing this lovely yarn.
The fifteenth century ruler of Kashmir, Zayn- Ul- Abidin who is the founding father of the Pashmina trade launched weavers from central Asia the place it was already in use as luxury textile. Over the years a large variety of shawls had been introduced depending on the art, tradition and availability of handicrafts. A large part of this was dominated by the place this craft was being practiced at.
Undoubtedly its durability will be affirmed from the royal households that handed them down for generations. Nevertheless in at this time’s date, one does not must be regal to own a pashmina scarf, and even go to the high altitudes of Indian Kashmir, Pakistan and Nepal. At at the moment’s date they are available at meritorious stores. The members of fashion fraternity round world use and own products made of pashmina starting from scarves, wraps, coats, pashmina shawls and stoles. It’s a mark of the social and monetary status.
Process of Making Pashmina Thread
Animals shed their undercoat throughout spring molting season that’s when Pashmina is collected. Thee goats start molting anytime from February to late Might depending upon the weather situations and region.
In India, the main method of harvesting pashmina is combing . It is carried out with the use of a particular type of comb. Pashmina is manually dusted to remove impurities like sand, mud, and many others which may be stuck to it. The fleece is then sorted as per the color. The pure colors of the fiber being white, grey which is combined with darker shades like browns. The standard of the fiber primarily will depend on its fineness, length, coloration and down fiber content. Finer, longer and white pashmina generates better value as compared to coarser, colored and shorter fiber.
The pashmina procurement is completed from all Changthangi Pashmina growers Association in Leh Ladakh in India. The key chunk of which is sold and sent to Srinagar and Kullu Valley for utilization. Subsequently in India raw pashmina fiber is 10-15 instances more expensive than crossbred fine wool.
Pashmina is collected in the course of the spring season when the goats naturally shed their winter coat. In dehairing, goats are combed to get the fine woolen undercoat hair. Goats generally produce double fleece which is mix of fine hair and guard hair. Fine hair are separated by both by combing out the down or through the use of special equipments. The guard hair is removed utterly before processing. The presence of more than 5% guard hair affects the appearance, deal with and high quality of the ultimate products.
The wool is collected and undergoes the hand spinning process. The fiber is spun on a spinning wheel also known as Charkha locally known as yander. Before undergoing the spinning, raw materials is handled by stretching and cleaning as a way to remove all of the dirt. Then it is soaked for a number of days in a blend of rice and water in order to reinforce its softness. Hand-spinning is a time consuming and painstaking process which requires quite a lot of dedication and patience.
Pashmina wool is a highly delicate material. The vibrations caused by the facility looms could be damaging to its fiber. Due to this fact, weaving of the customary one hundred% Pashmina Shawls is done on hand looms. Weaving, which in itself is an artwork form, is completed utilizing a shuttle. This art has been passed over from generation to generation. A single shawl takes about 4 to five days to weave on a handloom.
Like spinning, dyeing can also be carried out by hand. Azo-free and metal free dyes are used through the process to make these eco-pleasant shawls. Pure water is pumped up from deep beneath the surface and dyeing is finished at a temperature just beneath the boiling level of water for around an hour.
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