Who We Are
We at PashmeLadakh aim to enhance the livelihoods of nomadic goat herders of Ladakh and weavers/embroiderers of Kashmir. We work closely with them to provide you with fine handcrafted Pashmeena shawls..
What We Do
We provide you the finest quality of authentic hand crafted Pashmeena by connecting the nomads of Ladakh and the artisans of Kashmir.
What We Sell
Pashmeladakh aims at producing the most authentic Pashmeena and sell it across the globe via our website. The site has been loaded with all the relavant information about how our products are crafted.
Who do we represent
Ladakhi Buddist Nomads: For thousands of years Buddhist Tibetan nomads have reared rare mountain goats at altitudes of over 5000 meters above sea level. They live as a single family in isolation or in a group consisting of approximately 4 to 5 families. Their homes are accessible only by foot. Conditions are harsh and life is risky. Avalanches, snow storms and snow leopards have taken many lives.
At these high altitudes, temperatures can drop to below -35°C in winter. As a protective measure, the Pashmeena goat develops a fine soft and thick layer of under hair/fleece. This is the material of the Pashmeena called Pashme. Its local name is ‘Leena’. Pashme is collected by the nomadic community every June (after every winter), by gently combing the hair out. Traditionally, using a comb made of ibex horn. By October this underfleece starts growing back for another round of winter. Raw Pashme is odorous, combined with dandruff and quite dirty! The lively hoods of these nomads are based on selling this to Kashmiri merchants.
Kashmiri tradesman buy raw material from Ladhaki nomads and transport it to a special muslim community in Srinagar. Here it is washed, removed of long contaminating hairs, and spun into yarn by women. This process is sometimes automated.
Men weave the yarn into shawls. Weavers rightly consider themselves artists, as it is they who transforms raw material into a soft fine warm textile.The skills of these artisans have been honed for over five centuries, influenced each time by a new ruler, tradesman or invader – the Persians, the Moguls, Afgani traders and French importers.
Pashmeena weavers and embroiderers were once highly respected in Kashmiri society, this is not the case anymore. Their work is not considered of value in modern day Kashmir and they are often exploited. Middlemen make the profits. Their poor economic status has led them to discontinue this work, and encourage their children to take up other professions. Often in vain, as education is not affordable.
To watch the artisans at work please click on the links below.