Photo Curtsey: KashmirVilla
Handicrafts in Kashmir have traditionally been family run business. While the women are involved in wool spinning and embroidery, the men assist in the heavy handlooms. Once the product are woven, the stoles are sent to the dyers and go through a process of hand dyeing which is done using natural colours. Kashmiri stole are designed with earthly colours, but more recently, all other colour are also being used. After dyeing, the stoles go back to the craftsmen and then starts the intricate process of designing patterns using different size of needles depending on the kinds of embroidery.
Kashmiri shawls are primarily made from three types of fibres: wool, pashmina and silk. The pashmina yarn comes from the hair of the Himalayan goat, a rare animal living above 4,000 metres altitude, only found in Kashmir. A variety of blends of Kashmiri wool with pashmina, and silk with pashmina are also used to weave semi-pashmina stoles.