In news– An initiative has been launched in Jammu & Kashmir to restore the lost glory of Pashmina shawls. The Centre For Excellence (CFE) has been set up by shawl trader Mujtaba Kadri, who owns the ‘Me&K’ brand and Aadyam-Aditya Birla Group to restore the lost hand-driven processes involved in the intricate shawl weaving industry.
About Pashmina shawls-
- Pashmina shawl is a hand-made shawl from Jammu & Kashmir.
- It refers to a fine variant of spun cashmere, the animal-hair fibre forming the downy undercoat of the Changthangi goat.
- The word pashm means “wool” in Persian, but in Kashmir, pashm referred to the raw unspun wool of domesticated Changthangi goats.
- This goat is exotic and is only found at 15000 feet above sea level in Ladakh, making the art of Pashmina even rarer and revered all over the world.
- Spinning on a traditional Kashmiri charkha allows longer threads of Pashmina wool with fine hair-like size, unlike machines, and adds to the softness and warmth of the product.
- A Kashmiri woman can spin up to five grams of wool a day.
- It is a geographical indication (GI)-certified product.
- It also received a Minimum Support Price (MSP) from Directorate of Handicrafts and Handloom, Kashmir.
- The Changthangi or Chagra is a breed of cashmere goat native to the high plateaux of Ladakh in India.
- The cold temperatures in the region are the primary factor in the growth of the fine pashmina grade of cashmere wool for which they are reared.
- These goats are generally domesticated and are reared by nomadic communities called the Changpa in the Changthang regions of Ladakh, including the Rupshu, Demchok/Skakjung and the Pangong Lake regions.
The goats survive on grass in Ladakh, where temperatures plunge to as low as −20 °C (−4.00 °F)