Soft to touch, light to drape, promising warmth to the wearer, and making a quiet statement of elegance in their artistic motifs and colours are the hand-woven pashmina shawls from Kashmir. Graced with beautiful hand-woven and/or hand-embroidered motifs in aesthetic colour combinations and wrapping the wearer in warmth as much as style, the pashmina shawl has been a coveted textile for centuries. From flowers and birds to the graceful paisley motifs, every inch of the artistically patterned shawl speaks of the skill of artisans who spare no effort in creating luxurious textiles for discerning patrons.
The Map Shawl
Traditionally, pashmina shawls have been hand-woven from yarns of hand-spun pashm, the soft under-fleece combed from the Capra hircus goats that live in the mountains of Ladakh and the Tibetan Plateau. While there are numerous finely woven and/or embroidered pashmina shawls typically with motifs of sinuous vines and fluid paisleys, there is one design that stands apart. This is the embroidered “map shawl from Kashmir”, a truly fascinating textile, as it portrays a stylized cartographic view of places; extant antique map shawls portray cartographic views of Srinagar, the capital city of Kashmir.
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