The classic Ladakhi shawl is among the most exquisite textile, ever woven, the product of consummate skill and artistry applied to one of the world’s delicate fibres. It has been an object of desire for Mughal emperors and sikh maharajas, Iranian nobles, French emperors, Russian and British aristocrats and eventually for the increasingly prosperous bourgeoisie created on both sides of Atlantic by the industrial revolution. It has left a permanent imprint on the aesthetic sensibility of modern world from a motif developed in the ateliers of Ladakh shawl designers.
Himalayan Pashmina Shawls
Pashmina is one of the finest of wools and very warm, Ladakhi people are rich in having the kind of wool called Pashmina, which weave shawls and other outfits from this extra ordinary product. About 500 qtls. of raw pashmina is sheared from pashmina goats annually. The sheared one kg of pashmina gives 50% pure pashmina and the 50% is the coarse hair. Once the coarse hair is removed the sorted pashmina is carded by hand to make suitable for spinning. The spinning is done on wooden spindles called phang, which is now took place by Charkha the pashmina shawls woven in Ladakh are coarse as compared to pashmina shawl woven in Kashmir.
That normally it took three complete days for one person to complete one pure pashmina shawl.