Published on: August 31, 2021
What is in news : A new initiative to revive pashmina shawls has been revived
About Pashmina shawls :
- Pashmina Shawls are a fine variant of shawls spun from cashmere wools.
- A cashmere wool itself is obtained from the Changthangi goat (Capra aegagrus hircus) native to the high plateau of Ladakh.
- Pashmina shawls gained much prominence in the days of the Mughal Empire as objects of rank and nobility. Babur first established the practice of giving khilat – giving ‘robes of honour’ – in 1526 to members of his court for their devoted service, high achievements or as a mark of royal favour. A khilat could be a set of clothes consisting of turban, coat , gown, trousers, shirts etc. all of which could be made of Pashmina wool.
- Every winter the goats from whom pashmina is acquired shed their coat. About 80-170 grams of wool is shed. In the spring the undercoat is shed, which is collected by combing the goat instead of shearing them as is the case with other wool collection activities. The pashmina wool is produced by the people known as the Changpa, a nomadic people who inhabit the Ladakh region. The Changpa rear sheep in a harsh climate where temperature drops to −40 °C .
- Raw pashmina is exported to Kashmir where the combing, spinning, weaving and finishing are traditionally carried out by hand by a specialised team of craftsmen and women. The major production centre of pashmina shawls is in the old district of Srinagar. It takes about 180 hours to produce a single piece of pashmina shawl