6 Trending Kashmiri Shawls Every Woman Should Own

6 Trending Kashmiri Shawls Every Woman Should Own

As winter arrives, we need to reassess our wardrobe and consider the trendiest winter clothing that resonates with the season. Shawls have always been an integral part of Indian women’s wardrobe. Among the variety of shawls available for women, Kashmiri shawls stand out as the most celebrated pieces.   

Kashmiri shawls are timeless accessories that have withstood the test of time. Originating in the 15th century in Kashmir and gaining global popularity in the 18th century, Kashmiri Pashmina shawls have survived more than five centuries to become an indispensable winter accessory today. It has become a winter essential owing to the meticulous design and unmatched warmth it provides.   

Here, we have curated a comprehensive guide to Kashmiri shawls for women, including a list of the trending shawls that every woman should have this winter. Let’s get started.  

What is Special About Kashmiri Shawls?

  • Exceptionally warm

Crafted from the finest Pashmina or wool blend, Kashmiri shawls offer the best insulation against extreme temperatures. These shawls provide unmatched warmth and comfort due to the structure of the premium wool blends. Sourced from Himalayan goats, the centre of the wool fibre has a hollow core that traps air and creates a buffer against external temperatures.   

  • Lightweight and breathable

Apart from being extraordinarily warm, Kashmiri shawls are also lightweight and breathable due to the use of the finest wool in their making. This feather-light characteristic ensures comfort and ease of wear throughout the year

  • Soft and smooth

Kashmiri shawls do not cause itching or allergies – unless you're extremely sensitive to natural fabrics. Due to the use of the finest wool blends, these shawls are delightfully fluffy to the touch and feel incredibly smooth against the skin.  

  • Lifelong investment

Kashmiri shawls are widely celebrated as heirloom pieces due to their intricate design, aesthetic appeal, and exceptional durability. Over time, these shawls age gracefully and add a vintage charm that surpasses the beauty of freshly crafted pieces. These timeless shawls can retain their beauty for over 30 years, making them cherished family heirlooms that can be passed down through generations.   

Common Types of Fabrics Used in Kashmiri Shawls

  • Wool blends

Wool is a classic fabric widely used in Kashmiri shawls due to its durability and insulation properties. Weavers source the best quality wool from various sources, mainly Himalayan goats. As a result, the texture and thickness of woollen Kashmiri shawls for women often vary from shawl to shawl.  

  • Pashmina

Pashmina is one of the finest blends of wool obtained from the undercoat of the Himalayan Changthangi goat. Kashmiri Pashmina shawls are incredibly soft and lightweight, often viewed as prized possessions and a symbol of royalty.  

  • Shahtoosh

Shahtoosh is an ultra-fine fabric sourced from the hair of the Tibetan antelope. Kashmiri Shahtoosh shawls are more luxurious than Pashmina since they are exceptionally light, soft, and warm. However, due to conservation concerns, the government has banned the use of Shahtoosh and alternative materials are now used to replicate its luxurious feel more sustainably.  

What are the Famous Kashmiri Shawls for Women?

1. Kani Shawls

Originating in the quaint village of Kanihama in Kashmir, Kani is a traditional weaving technique that has been perfected over generations. Mughal kings, Sikh maharajas, and British aristocrats adored the exquisite Kashmiri Kani shawl for its artistry.   

Skilled artisans weave patterns and designs into the fabric using small, eyeless bobbins called 'kanis'. Sometimes, they use as many as 50 Kanis with different coloured threads to craft an intricately designed Kani shawl. Artisans write down the designs and patterns on paper as codes and follow that 'Talim'. A pure Kani shawl may take several months or even up to a year to complete.  

Kani shawls feature intricate motifs in brilliant shades, making it a must-have timeliness piece to add to your wardrobe.

2. Jamawar Embroidered Shawls

Crafted from the finest wool blend, the name of this Kashmiri shawl comes from 'robe' (Jama) and 'chest or body' (Var). Embroidered Kashmiri Jamawar shawls feature embroidery motifs and patterns all over the base. The intricate designs usually feature rich colours and geometric patterns. The base of the shawl is barely visible due to the traditional weaving technique used in crafting Jamawar shawls.   

Jamawar shawls woven using the Kani technique are among the bestsellng shawls for women. These shawls are ideal for weddings, formal occasions, or as a gift of warmth to your loved ones.    

3. Mughal Darbaar Shawl

Inspired by the grandeur of Mughal art and architecture, Mughal Darbaar shawls are nothing less than a visual feast. These shawls usually feature royal courts, hunting scenes, human figures, etc., showcasing the regal aesthetic of the Mughal era. If you want to add a touch of majestic splendour to your outfit, a Mughal Darbaar shawl is the right fit for you.   

4. Buti Shawls

Buti design shawls are a celebration of understated elegance. These shawls feature small, beautifully crafted floral motifs called 'buti'. It showcases multiple single-flower motifs or the curling bud on top of a flowering plant. If the designs include leaves and vines with small floral patterns, it becomes a ‘buta’ or a large form of buti.  

Although these names are Persian, the origin of this design was believed to be Kashmir due to its uncanny resemblance to the shape of the chinar tree. There are multiple shapes and styles of buti, including chand buti, phul buti, tara buti, pankha buti, pan buti., etc.  

Perfect for both casual and formal occasions, Kashmiri Buti shawls are versatile wardrobe essentials.   

5. Reversible Shawls

Reversible shawls have garnered their place among the most popular Kashmiri shawls for women due to their versatility. These shawls are wearable on both sides. Reversible shawls have either two different colours on two sides, or the opposite side of the shawl is a mirror image of the front side. Invest in a reversible Kashmiri embroidery shawl and get multiple styling options in one luxurious piece.  

6. Kalamkari shawl

The use of Kalamkari art on Kashmiri Shawls began in the late 18th century. The term Kalamkari comes from 'kalam' or pen and 'kari', meaning work, literally translating to the work of the pen.   

Kalamkari shawls showcase the beauty of nature-inspired designs, usually featuring peacocks, paisleys, flowers, and characters from Hindu epics like Ramayana and Mahabharata. Kashmiri Kalamkari shawls are a fusion of embroidery and printing, often involving a variety of patterns printed on soft wool shawls, followed by intricate embroidery work. The intricate detailing and vibrant colours make each piece a canvas of art that can effortlessly elevate your wardrobe.  

The Bottom Line

Kashmiri shawls are not mere accessories; they are a celebration of traditional craftsmanship and cultural heritage. The versatility of these shawls has made them an invaluable addition to every woman’s wardrobe.  

Known for their extraordinary quality and authenticity, Pashmal shawls are a statement of refinement. Pashmal’s curated collection of shawls for women features an array of Kashmiri shawls crafted by expert artisans from the valley. Visit our website to shop our exquisite collection now!  

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