Introduction to Weaving tradition of India

 

Woolen

The weaving of woolen items in India is conditioned and dictated mainly by geographical factors. People mainly from hilly and alpine regions contribute to weaving of woolen items, due to their need and the predominance of sheep rearing in these parts of the country.

The main wool weaving regions are as follows:

The state of Jammu and Kashmir is famous for its woolen products like, shawls, carpets, floorings and pherans (traditional Kashmiri dress). Woolen shawls of Kashmir are not only famous in India but their popularity is worldwide.

Woolen shawls from Kashmir are popular because of the embroidery or Sozni work done on them using woolen threads. The price of these shawls depends on the quality of the wool used and also the quality of the embroidery done on them.

Pashmina shawls from Kashmir are world famous and known for their softness. The raw material for these shawls is obtained from the hair of ibex. These shawls are very expensive.

At times rabbit hair or wool is mixed with the hair of ibex to reduce the cost of the shawls. These shawls are sometimes embroidered.

The best and the rare shawls from Kashmir are the Shahtoosh shawls, which are woven from the hair of the Tibetian antelope. These shawls are known for their lightness, softness and warmth.

Pheran the traditional Kashmiri dress is made out of coarse wool and it resembles a long cloak.

Himachal Pradesh is known for its Kullu shawls and traditional headgear. These items are decorated with rich colours and geometric patterns.

Amritsar and Ludhiana from the state of Punjab are famous for their woolen blankets. The northeastern regions of India also have wool weaving traditions of their own. The shawls, jackets and sarongs made from these regions have a profusion of colour and are decorated with patterns having beautiful floral design, large geometric shapes or straight lines.