SOFT GOLD CASHMERE

Pashmina Shawls also known by the west as Cashmere literally translates to “Soft Gold” in Kashmir. Pashmina Shawl came to be known as 'Cashmere' in the west after this fibre was being encountered by the Europeans in Kashmir

The Pashmina goat or Changra goats sheds its winter coat every spring. This under fleece is collected by combing the goat, not by shearing, as in other fine wools. Unlike other Cashmere goats, the Pashmina goat not only feeds on the grass but also the roots of the grass. The traditional producers of Pashmina Wool in the Ladakh region of Indian Administered Jammu and Kashmir are a tribe known as the Changpa. They are a nomadic people and inhabit the Changthang plateau of the Kashmir region, which has the lowest altitude of 13,500 feet above the sea level and the winter temperature drops to −40 degree Celsius. The raw Pashmina wool is transported to the valley of Kashmir in northern India, where it is entirely hand processed. All steps from combing (removing impurities and guard hair, and aligning fibers) and spinning, to weaving and finishing, are entirely carried out by hand by specialized craftsmen and women. The old district of Srinagar, capital of Indian Administered Jammu and Kashmir is the major centre of Pashmina fabric production. 

Around there are 10 different processes involved in transforming raw cashmere fibre into luxurious designer Kashmir finished products. Our Changra cashmere, production is the work of artisans based on centuries of innovation. Our expert craftsmen take pride in every thread, every twist, every yarn and every stitch, from raw fibre in the wool store to perfected garment on the showroom floor. From dyeing to blending, carding to spinning, warping to weaving, and cutting to folding – it all happens in our own mills in the heart of Kashmir.

COLORING PROCESS

There are four different, but equally effective, ways to dye our fibre: in its natural state, when it has been spun into yarn or woven into cloth and where smaller quantities are needed, hand dying. Our dedicated dye technicians have worked tirelessly over the years to perfect our signature colour recipes, according to the character of the raw materials. Some of the dyes that we use today were developed as long ago as 1956. There are currently around 300 shades in our colour library, ranging from soft subtle tints to strong, vivid hues.

UNIFICATION PROCESS

Blends can be made of different colour of the same fibre or of the same fibre or of different types of fibre, e.g. cashmere and merino or cashmere and silk.

WHIRLING PROCESS

The rovings are then spun to transform them into yarn. Spinning twists the fibres together to give them strength and prepare them for weaving. The thickness of the yarn is determined at this stage by drawing the rovings out to a pre-determined degree. The yarn is expertly checked by hand at regular intervals throughout the carding and spinning process to ensure it has an even consistency.

WEAVING PROCESS

The weaving process begins with laying out the warp of the pattern. The warp consists of the threads which run vertically from the top to the bottom of the cloth. The number of threads in the warp varies according to the fineness of the yarn and the density and width of the fabric required.

When the warp is ready it is wound onto a circular beam and transferred to the loom for weaving. Weaving is the introduction of the weft yarn, the thread that runs horizontally across the cloth. The colour, pattern and design of the weave is pre-determined by our team of passionate designers, who look to Himalayan landscapes and heritage for endless inspiration. We have two different kinds of weaving loom: Handlooms and Jacquard looms. The Handlooms weave our signature styles of squares, checks and stripes whereas the Jacquard looms can create much more intricate patterns.

FINISHING PROCESS

When cashmere pashmina has been woven, its appearance is rough. There are many processes involved in transforming the cashmere pashmina into a luxurious finished product, many of which have remained unchanged for hundreds of years. We use only the softest, natural water to scour our fabric, ensuring that it is gently restored to its natural, super-soft state.

Scouring removes the oil applied to protect the fibre during the manufacturing processes, while milling shrinks and thickens the fabric. After wet finishing, the fabric is dried by passing it over rollers steaming machine. Depending on the end use of the fabric, further finishing processes are carried out, such as cropping, raising and pressing before final inspection. Whether it’s a scarf, shawl, every piece is made to last. From accessories to fabrics, our products, made from start to finish in Kashmir, define luxury and quality.

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