The House of Cashmere was founded by Misba a Kashmiri born girl wanting to bring original Pashmina and cashmere products from the conflict-torn country of Kashmir and show the world that even with the challenges against them the people still stand by traditions and continue to produce exquisite pieces.
Misba’s family have been involved in the production of the finest Cashmere and Pashmina products for as long as she can remember and after many years providing the raw product to brands, stores, and boutiques around the world a decision was made to step out of this area and launch a designer brand bringing people the largest selection or Cashmere and Pashmina products under The House of Cashmere brand.
In The Making.
From Start To Finish
Our Pashmina goats shed their winter coat every spring. It is at this time we take this raw Pashmina wool in the mountains down to the valley of Kashmir in northern India, where it is entirely hand processed.
The first step in processing involves hand combing the raw wool to remove any impurities. Once we are fully satisfied, the raw wool is cleaned then spun on a spinning wheel then processed a second time by stretching and cleaning again, before weaving in which the spun yarn is separated for the use as wrap and weft. The raw material is then washed with reetha soap (Soap Nuts) in lukewarm water to remove any dirt and then left to dry naturally in the sun before the yarn is reeled back on racks.
It is at this point that if the yarn requires dyeing, we begin the hand dyeing process. In this process only natural metal and azo free dyes are used, which makes our shawls and other pashmina products completely eco-friendly.
Once we are happy with the dyeing, the next stage is to make the wrap. It’s the wrap makers job to now twist the yarn into the required thickness and strength for the wrap. Once all this is done we place the spun yarn in a copper bowl where it is steeped in a mixture of spring water and rice. The steeped yarn is then taken out after two days and spread out in the sun to dry.
The dried yarn is now wound on a wooden spool called a prech, this process is known as tulun, where four to six rods are placed in the ground. Individuals then work together to transfer the yarn from the prech onto the iron rods by using sticks. The whole process is known as yarun. Over 1200 threads are stretched to form the wrap. Locally this is known as yaen and will produce enough for 4 to 6 shawls.
Now that the wrap is completed and we are happy with the quality and colours we pass the wrap to our wrap dressers (Bharan-gour) to stretch the wrap. They will spend a week or more to fix each wrap thread in the heddles of the loom once this is done the weaving can begin.
The final stages of care are very important to us due to the handmade process of our products. Once the shawl is taken from the weavers the fabric is tweezed, clipped and brushed out to remove as best as possible any potential flaws on the surface. To do this, the shawl is mounted on two heavy beams and held taught. Once completed the fabric is now washed one final time in running spring water. It is after this point any natural undyed shawls are sent to the dyers for dyeing if the shawl is to be a complete or blended colour.