The combination of natural silk and virgin wool in this dip-dyed ombré shawl adds shimmer and texture as the colors flow through shades of purple, mauve, brown, dark pink, and maroon. The design is inspired by the sunset reflecting in the fountains that cascade down Nishat Garden’s twelve terraces in Srinagar, the summer capital of the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir. The colors are lighter on one side of the scarf and richer on the other, adding even more depth to the scarf as it drapes. As each shawl is hand-dyed, please expect some variation in color.
Hand-dyed in Srinagar, Jammu and Kashmir, India. 50% silk/50% wool. 79"L x 27 1/2"W.
Growing up in Kashmir, Imtiyaz remembers playing with his brothers and sisters in their grandfather’s apple orchard, and sitting with his grandmother as she wove traditional Kashmiri shawls. Weaving was a family business: His uncle wove carpets and his father also wove shawls, but it wasn’t until Imtayaz went to Delhi for high school and college that he realized how important and popular Kashmiri shawls were and decided to follow in his father’s footsteps. Despite conflicts that have affected the region throughout Imtayaz’s lifetime, “I still love my hometown dearly,” he says, “[Jammu and Kashmir] is still the most beautiful state in the country.”
Virgin Kashmiri wool forms the weft (the horizontal threads) and silk makes up the warp (the vertical threads) on the loom. The wool is colored using azo-free dyes while the silk is left in its natural, off-white color. When the finished shawl is taken off the loom, it’s dip-dyed to create an ombré effect, from the French word for shade. It’s folded in half and dipped in water, then in the dye, and then the dye is set. This process is repeated several times using different colors, so that the effect is of a progression from darker to lighter and back again. Finally, after the colors are set, the fringed ends are twisted and knotted by hand.