All About Kashmiri Pashmina Part 2
The Design Myraid in Pashmina
The design intervention in classical Pashminas is enormous. However, it is the age old Kanis, the embroidery laden Jamavars, the shimmers of Tilla and Sozni, and the simplistic solid styles which steal away the heart. The Pashminas are made in myraids of designs to suit and please every type of personality.
1. Solid Pashmina
The solid styled Pashminas exude a simplistic sophistication. They celebrate the splash of colors over the plush base lying underneath. Colored using natural or man made dyes, plain Cashmere Pashminas make a legendary statement in style.
2. Embroidered Pashminas
The embroidered Pashminas feature the classical romanticisms of Kashmiri Embroideries like Sozni Kari and Tilla Dozi with the underlying base of Pashmina. The embellishment thus forms embroidery laden Jamavars, netted Jaali patterns, Border worked Palladaar and scattered design of Bootidar. The heavy statement wraps thus conjured take their inspirations from floral and faunal motifs which surround the picturesque valley of Kashmir.
3. Kani Pashminas
Set into timeless fashion by Empress Josephine who was gifted a Kani Pashmina by her husband, Napolean, these wraps use small sticks known as Kanis to create a magical medley in its weave. The Kani Pashmina is not just a shawl, it is a piece of art laden in colors, sophistication and fine craftsmanship which takes approximately 6 months in its making.
4. Kalamkari Pashminas
The marvels of Kalamkari use natural colors to cast their magic over a base of Pashmina and then outline these imprints with a specialized needle work. Kalamkari originated in Persia and remains intact in remote villages of Kashmir even till date.
5. Modern Design Pashmina
Adapting the Pashmina to the tastes of the modern lifestyle has inspired many designers in luxury fashion to fuse the contemporary patterns of checks, blots and stripes with the traditionally hand woven Kashmiri Pashmina, thus creating an altogether exclusive range which we call Modern Design Pashminas.
6. Dip Dye Pashmina
Crafted using the vibrant colors of Tie n Dye, the Dip dye Pashminas are a mélange of vibrant hues to coordinate any apparel as effortlessly as is possible.
7. Dual Toned Pashmina
Set to beautifully contrasting shades, reversible Pashminas are a duet of colors and can be worn either side for a different look to transpire. These wraps are ideal to wear over western attires.
8. Towel Pashminas
The deluxe towel shawls are hand woven into warps and wefts and threads of Pashmina, popularly known as loops are manually picked from the shawl by master artisans. These loops make the classic wrap warmer than the regular Pashmina and perfect to drape on a totally gelid winter morning.
The Fallacy of A Ring Test
In modern times, when the markets are abuzz with replicas of Kashmiri Pashmina, people often find themselves stuck in the dilemma of which ones to own. Amidst the deception which surrounds a typical Pashmina, a popular one is the Ring Test. It is often said that only a Pure Pashmina can pass through a ring owing to its finesse. However, this is a major lie as any soft wool can pass the ring test, its finesse doesn’t need to match the Pashmina. Only a laboratory test (such as the G.I) can determine the true purity of a Pashmina. Others are just deception.
Charm o Pashmina
With their simplistic sophistication, detailed floral motifs and a warmth non pareil, Pashmina shawls till date remind us of the richness of Persian culture. Chosen by the people of the elite, the Pashminas have been cherished by The Nawabs of Oudh and the Rajput princes. Legend has it that Mughal Emperor Akbar got a pair of shawls stitched back to back and the classic came to be called Dhoshala. These Dhoshalas were often gifted to the British diplomats. Late 18th century witnessed Josephine, the wife of Emperor Napoleon 1 exemplifying her taste for a Kani Pashmina shawl. The Pashmina became a symbol of statement amongst the royalty of Britain when Queen Victoria wore it as an annual tribute from the state of Kashmir. Till date, Pashmina wraps make one of the most treasured possessions in the closets of those who live a tasteful life.