Thursday, 23 February 2012

Start a Pashmina Shawls Production Unit

(290). Start a Pashmina Shawls Production Unit 
Pashmina is made from the finest cashmere wool in the world. It is combed from the underside of the Himalayan Mountain Goat, which are indigenous to the mountains of Central Asia. Pashmina has been valued for centuries throughout Asia and the Middle East, and the wonderful qualities of pashmina are now making it just as popular in the West.

What is Pashmina ?
Pashmina wool, also known as the softest, most luxurious and the best pashm wool in the world. It comes from Himalayan region as finest Kashmiri wool which is derived at the altitude of 12000 to 14000 ft. where temperature goes down up to-40 degree centigrade. THE THERMO CONDUCTIVITY OF THE WOOL IS BEST IN THE WORLD as it survives the animal AT -40 degree centigrade far below ZERO TEMPERATURES in virgin pollution free climate of the world. Blessed by nature with a unique very thin short inner coat of hair which is the best insulation in the world and this inner coat of hair is PASHMINA. The animal is survived because of this nature gifted hair. Pashmina fibre is less than 15-19 microns in thickness making it very soft (whereas human hair is 75 microns thick) one pashm produces 3 to 8 ounces of Pashmina per year. Origin of Pashmina dates back to ancient civilization . Earlier in olden days Pashmina shawls found favour with EMPERORS, KINGS, PRINCES, RULERS and NOBLES. This precious fabric was known as FIBRE FOR KINGS. Now this royal luxury is being offered in wide variety of shawls, stoles, scarves and sweaters. These luxurious pashmina shawls are hand woven by traditional weavers whose families have been in the occupation since ages and they inherit this art from their ancestors, and tradition of this art continues from one generation to another generation. 

Pashmina History
The beautiful vale of Kashmir has always been famed for its craftsmanship. The weaving of tapestry shawls was first introduced into the valley from Turkistan by Zain - ul-Abdin, the ruler of Kashmir, in the 15th century. Production benefitted from the patronage of the Mughal rulers like Akbar and his successors, who wore these shawls, and also because of patronage of local government. The collapse of the Mughal Empire left many weavers unemployed. The situation however, was saved by the enormous increase in demand from Europe, where the shawls became popular in the latter part of the 18th century. At the beginning of the 19th century, foreign entreprenures started to commission shawls especially for the French market, adapting the designs to suit European taste. Indeed Pashmina became the rage in France after Napoleon presented a rare shawl to Empress Josephine. With the progress of the century, the adaptation in designs became increasingly complex. The European market for shawls collapsed in 1870 due to a combination of factors such as changing tastes and competition from Paisley shawls. The economic prostration of France when she was defeated by Prussia added to the declining European market. The Kashmiri weavers either left the valley for Punjab or started producing embroidered shawls for tourists, mainly British officers on furlough in colonised India. Today Kashmiri shawls are embroidered by professional men. Lately, the American market has opened to Pashmina as Americans discovered its plush, soft texture. Fashion gurus now pronounce it as essential to the wardrobe as the ubiquitous little black dress.

Pashmina Prices

The price of a Pashmina may range anywhere from a few hundred dollars to several thousands of dollars, depending upon the micron fineness and craftsmanship, rare fiber availability and time factor involved in its creation. International prices are 300-100 $ per pcs but we offer it at 50-300 $ as we are manufacturers, a factory direct out let, weavers with in plant complete manufacturing till finished product. We buy pashmina from pashmina rearers of goat in Tibet and Kashmir at the time of year when prices are lowest. 

Choosing Pashmina

When choosing a pashmina it is important to check whether the piece is 100 percent pashmina or if it has been blended with silk. We recommend either 100 percent or a 70/30 percent silk blend. Prefer a 2-ply pashmina as it drapes well and it suitable for climate up to 2-3 degree. Below freezing temperatures, very old person, real warm envelope prefer a 4 ply pashmina or blanket. It is 4 times the weight of 1 ply. 1 ply is best for summers, with temperature 30 degree plus. Wear a pashmina according to your height. A 5 feet lady should wear a stole of 30x80 inches or 75x200 cms and up to 5.5 inches a shawl of 90x200 cms But taller one should buy a 125x250 cms. Since we have our own manufacturing unit we are able to sell the same top quality products at affordable prices. 

Kashmiri Embroidery

Kashmiri embroidery, called kasida, is varied, rich in colour and elaborate in details and exquisite in execution. The finest Kasida work in shawls has no 'wrong' side. Connoisseurs set great value to the embroidery that displays similar fineness of work on both sides of the shawl. The kasida pattern are drawn freely by the naqqash (the designer) mostly from memory. These are inspired by the sparkling lakes, the broad curves of the Jhelum, the breath- taking colours of the skies at sunrise and sunset over the mountains. The naqqash also draws upon poetic fancies and religious or philosophical themes, portraying them in the designs. The common motifs include floral borders, paisley, chinar leaves and buta cones. The softer-than-Cashmere texture, the wool which grows soft with use, the countless hours of painstaking work that go into making each shawl, make the fabric very special. The Pashmina has a superbly textural feel, drapes beautifully, feels soft, warm and light to the touch and will serve a user well for years. Its timeless patterns remain eternally in vogue. In the Indian sub- continent, Pashmina are passed down from one generation to another. To the credit of the traditional shawl-makers of Kashmir, the fine Pashmina has not been made successfully elsewhere although attempts have been made by other countries to replicate this craft, developed into an art form by the Kashmiris. The wool offers light weight insulation without bulk. The fibers are highly adaptable and appropriate for all climates. A high moisture content allows insulation to change with the relative humidity of atomsphere. 

Pashmina Shawls, Stoles, Scarves

As winter approaches, we all dig into our closet for the tired old coats and mufflers we've worn for the past years, when what we should really be doing is rushing out to buy this year's most fashionable accessory, the pashmina. This luxuriously soft, warm shawl, which comes in a rainbow of colors, can be embroidered, beaded or pleated and worn as a simple muffler or wrapped elaborately around the body in place of a coat or cardigan - depending on the size of course. Since America has discovered Pashmina, it is being promoted as a stable of the wradrobe. Although anything but cheap, Pashmina is breaking out of its image of a status symbol meant for the elite. American designers like Caroline Herrera and Donaletta Versarc have incorporated and experimented with this material. The basic colours that Pashmina comes in are grey, brown and white. However, the fabric adapts itself beautifully to colouring. It is now available in approximately four hundred colours and the "graduated" colour scheme is definitely 'in'. American women are also going in for shawls with bead work and embroidery. Terrorism in Kashmir has resulted in the weavers' migration to other parts of India as they find it more and more difficult to practice the traditional craft of their fore-fathers in an atmosphere that pervades with the fear of death. Still, the craft survives and the Kashmiri weavers struggle on.

How to Wash or Care for Pashmina?

We recommend Dry-clean only. However as all Pashminas as washed in our factory here But with experienced washerman. So we explain our washing instructions Pashmina are washed separately. Dip Pashmina for 15 minutes in Luke warm water say 20 degree in 10-15 litres water. Remove pashmina; again in 5-10 litre water in a bucket add 2-3 tablespoon of liquid Soap or shampoo for delicate cloth preferably for woolen clothes, Wisk up for rich leather Immerse pashmina for 30 minutes, After 30 minutes just stir it with hand politely or turn it around a few times (NO MACHINES please, otherwise 100% pashmina will shrink and get damaged, Pashmina is very delicate fiber) Rinse the pashmina in fresh running water. Rinse until water runs clear and then drip dry only DO NO WRINGLE OR TWIST or DO NOT TUMBLER DRY IT Dry in shade, away from direct sunlight; reverse if embroidered with embroidered underside. Iron it when 90% dry (not 100%). You will get the fresh pashmina though it will not be as we do. We offer you FREE one pouch of liquid shampoo recommended by ' WOOL MARK' The world trade leaders in Pashmina wool Business in the world. 

How Pashmina Cashmere is Manufactured?

1. Wool Collection
First of all the wool from Chyangra (Capra Hircus) goat is collected. The Cashmere wool is collected every spring. Then the soft fine cashmere is separated form the thick coarse hair. And both the soft cashmere and the thick coarse hair is taken for their further process.

2. Spinning
The cashmere wool is collected every spring and is basically spun by hand. The yarn is spun on a spinning wheel locally known as 'Charkha'. Prior to spinning, the raw material is treated by stretching and cleaning it to remove any dirt and soaked for a few days in a mixture of rice and water to make it softer. Hand-spinning is an extremely painstaking task. It requires immense patience, dexterity and dedication and is amazing process to watch.
3. Weaving
Cashmere yarn is too fragile for the vibration caused by power looms, the weaving of the traditional 100% cashmere shawls are therefore done on hand-looms. It is essential for the weaver to have a uniform hand. for par excellence fabric. Weaving here is done with a shuttle carrying the soft cashmere yarn through the fine yet strong silk warp. The weaving process is in itself an art, which has been passed down over generations, to give you the fabulous shawls, which we offer. It takes about four days to weave a single cashmere shawl. The weaving of cashmere products differ according to the nature of cashmere products. Different looms are required to weave different cashmere products. For cashmere shawls, cashmere stoles, cashmere mufflers, cashmere scarves, cashmere blankets and cashmere sweaters are woven in different looms and they takes different amount of cashmere fibers and takes time accordingly.
4. Fringes and Designs
Sureja, Gita, Rashmila, and Bhagabhati twisting fringes.
The attractive and excellent fringes and beautiful designs in cashmere shawl will be different than the others. Fringe and designs add extra beauty to cashmere shawls and other cashmere products. The making of the distinctive cashmere fringe and designs is an interesting stage of shawl making. Because the fringe and design making process is artistic and delicate process it takes hours to fringe and design each cashmere shawl or any other cashmere product by the expert.
5. Dyeing
Bishnu stirring a shawl
Dyeing is also done by hand and each piece individually. Dyers with immense patience and generations of experience are the one who dye the cashmere shawls, Cashmere stoles, cashmere mufflers, cashmere scarves, and other cashmere products, as even the smallest negligence reflects on the quality of the product. Only metal and azo free dyes are used, making the shawls and other cashmere products completely eco-friendly. The pure water used for dying is pumped up from deep beneath the surface. Dyeing is done at a temperature just below boiling point for nearly an hour. Cashmere wool is exceptionally absorbent, and dyes easily and deeply. In this way a fabulous Pashmina Wool, cashmere shawl, cashmere stole, cashmere scarf, cashmere muffler, cashmere sweater, cashmere blanket and other cashmere products are made.

How to Distinguish Authentic Pashmina

Those fake pashmina shawls are usually made of acrylic (a kind of synthetic fiber). Be a smarter Shopper! Because it's wool, the first things you can do is dampen it slightly and smell it. It will smell a little like a wet animal! (But not unpleasant) Wool always has that smell when wet. But the ultimate test is to burn it. When wool burns, it smells like hair burning. And what is left is just ash, and comes off easily. If a fabric has synthetic in it, it has a slightly chemical smell. But the true sign is that when you blow out the flame, there is a little hard 'bead' left, which stays attached to the fabric. Just burn the end of one of the fringes, and you will be able to tell .

The making of Pashmina

Imran, a young man from Kashmir, quit his job to get into the family business of shawls and carpets, the journey that he is quite enjoying.
Imran Hussain Meer, a businessman from Kashmir, shares a smile as he displays the exquisite range of pashmina products such as shawl, scarves and stoles.
At Pragati Maidan in New Delhi along with his elder brother and a few workers, Imran’s trip has been sponsored by the Union Textiles Ministry. This young lad from Kashmir quit a cozy job at a multinational organization to join his family business of silk carpets and shawls. Instead of working for somebody, Imran felt that doing business would give him more independence and personal growth.
Pashmina is a wool which comes from Pashmina goats who are found in the upper reaches of the Himalayas. The fiber is thin and is made from the hair of the neck of the goat. Original pashmina shawls are very expensive. Many artisans, weavers and dyers prepare work for days to prepare a pashmina product.
The raw pashmina comes in pure white and off white colour. "The sale of pashmina is good during winters but sale of silk carpets is throughout the year." says Imran. The cost of the final product depends on the designs and the cost of labour. "The cost of a shawl starts from Rs 7,000 to Rs 8,000. The costliest shawl we have is of Rs 66,000", says Imran.
Businessmen and artisans from Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Gujarat and Punjab are accompanying Imran at Dilli Haat and Pragati Maidan. "We sell in wholesale to showrooms in Delhi and other places. Our customers know, so whenever the need arises, they call us." says Imran.
The recent economic slowdown left thousands of poor artisans out of job as the businesses started to shed flab in view of a depleting demand in the export market. But now slowly things are getting back to normal. "People like to do this work because they can do it in the comfort of their homes and since there are not many opportunities of livelihood," says Imran. "The recession affected our business. The demand for these shawls went down sharply during the slowdown, and we could not reach our target of manufacturing 200 shawls," he adds.
"Customers prefer buying stuff from Kashmir as they think they might get at cheaper rates. For the last two-three years, Kashmir is a much safer place for tourists. We are expecting good sales not only in the state but across the country," he says. Tourism in Kashmir is now generating more revenues for the government but terrorism still has its shadow on businesses that are affected adversely.
altImran is happy that his business is growing steadily. Asked as to what he would advice aspiring businessmen who want to get into the business of pashmina and silk, he says "Not many customers know the difference between pure and artificial pashmina. Thus it is important for businessmen like myself to be honest and not cheat the customer." Imran adds that some corrupt businessman try to earn profits by calling blended stuff pashmina, and by selling it a a very high price. "Honesty and integrity is required to do this business as many poor artisans are associated with this business".

Manufacturers of Pashmina Shawls
Company Name
City/State New Delhi / Delhi
Country India

CMA Building Padshai Bagh,
Bishember Nagar Khayam,
Srinagar 190001 Kashmir, India.
Ph: 91-194-2457772
Fax: 91-194-2457556


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