15 paintings
Shawls from Kashmir range from the simple wool 'raffal' shawls to the light, soft delicate Pashmina made from the smooth fleecy wool of Kel goat and the rare Shahtoosh the lightest, smoothest and softest of them all, made exclusively from the hair of the Tibetan antelopes' throat. This shawl of the fleecy soft texture, that, in its entirety is said to pass through a finger ring with great ease, is now a thing of the past, shahtoosh having been banned. Pashmina thus holds the crown, what with its soft, smooth, silk-like lightness, and incomparable warmth. Women industriously work to pick out any rough strands from the lustrous, smooth fleecy wool from the Kel goat, which they then ply over charkhas (indigenous spinning wheel) to spin the yarn. The pashmina yarn is woven by equally expert hands, either into plain shawls that are later embroidered with fine patterns, using one of Kashmir's embroidery techniques, or two sided patterns are woven into them, to render them as the 'jamawar' shawls. A finely woven two-sided jamawar pashmina shawl would be 'the celebrated shawl' at any time, such can be the finesse of it. Embellishment on these jamawar shawls often comes by way of equally impeccable two-sided embroidery, that renders them masterpieces in a class of their own.