‘Pashmina’ in Persian language means something that is ‘created using wool’, and in ‘Kashmiri’ language, the word means ‘smooth gold’. Pashmina shawls are created using extra smooth wool and the same has wide acceptance across the globe, just because of the delicate and durable nature. The special quality wool that is required for making pashmina shawls is garnered from goats found in places like Himachal Pradesh, Kashmir, and Nepal.
Real Pashmina and Semi Pashmina
Real pashmina shawls are indeed pricey because of the rareness of the wool. The four breeds of goats from which the required wool is taken out have become very rare. However, in our time, semi pashmina varieties are available for lesser prices. Though super quality angora wool is added, this item is equally durable, and there will not be much of a difference as far as the softness and warmness of the created shawls are concerned.
Because of the intrinsic smooth texture, slotting in various types of complex embroidery works into the material is somewhat a tricky task. Only experienced craftsmen who possess extreme designing capacity will be able to do this.
In General, it’s a Women’s Work
Traditionally, pashmina shawls are woven manually by usually the women folk; but, in the contemporary period there is no such division. There are mainly two varieties of pashmina shawls; the Kani shawls (created using looms) and the sozni and aari shawls (here, the embroidery work will be done using a specially prepared needle).
Sozni Pashmina Shawls:
The word sozni means needlework. This type of pashmina shawls, usually done in Kashmir region is famous for the graceful looking embroidery. This type of shawl is also known as dorukha. The peculiarity of this model pashmina shawls is that they will have embroidery works on both sides and these will be usually done by using bright colored threads. Closely done single thread stitching method is applied here, and the designs will be mostly paisley and floral.
Aari Pashmina Shawls
For making aari pashmina, a typical type of long needle (aari) is used. This embroidery work is done by hand. The stitching style is chain stitching and the floral designs are created by sewing circles in a properly aligned and continuous manner. Aari pashmina shawls enjoy good market appreciation, because of the overall elegant nature.
Kaani Pashmina Shawl
‘Kaani’ is a Kashmiri word and denotes wooden stick pieces or spools. For creating this embroidery on a loom, such small sticks are used as tools and so the embroidery work bears this name. The preconceived designs are created by using different colored threads. The item is very much attractive and has great demand.