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I will be more careful with these socks. I want them to last a long time. So I won't be running around in them stocking-footed. They are warm and cozy and bright. I love them!
The textiles Coni bought are exquisite, beginning with this diaphanous Pashmina scarf:It is the softest fabric I have ever felt. Just luscious! The most amazing thing about this piece is that it is woven in singles in what looks to be a collapse weave, but little paisleys are woven in for texture. They are so subtle, they are barely noticeable. From Wickipedia.... The fibre is also known as pashm or pashmina for its use in the handmade shawls of Himalayas. The woollen shawls made from wool in Kashmir find written mention in Indian texts between 3rd century BC and the 11th century AD. However, the founder of the cashmere wool industry is traditionally held to be the 15th century ruler of Kashmir, Zayn-ul-Abidin, who introduced weavers from Central Asia. Cashmere shawls have been manufactured in Nepal and Kashmir for thousands of years. The test for a quality pashmina is warmth and feel. Pashmina and Cashmere are derived from same mountain goats. One distinct difference between Pashmina and Cashmere is the micron size. Pashmina fibers are finer and thinner than cashmere fiber, therefore, it is ideal for making light weight apparel like fine scarves. However, these days the word PASHMINA has been used too liberally and any scarves made from natural or synthetic fiber are sold as Pashmina creating confusion in the market. Pashmina from Nepal are the best in quality because of the conditions the mountain goats have adapted over centuries. The high Himalayas of Nepal has harsh, cold climate and in order to survive that the mountain goats have developed exceptionally warm and light fiber which might be slightly coarser than cashmere fibers obtained from lower region goats, but it is much warmer. To distinguish Nepalese Pashmina, the Nepal Pashmina Industries Association has registered a Trademark around the world, called "Changra Pashmina". Coni said that the fibers used for Pashmina are taken from the neck underneath and under the front legs (arm pits?) of the goats, because these are the areas of the finest, thinnest fibers. The goats are shorn once a year. Her piece came from Kashmir but she bought it in Darjeeling.
Khādī ClothI love this cloth. Coni bought this in Varanasi. It represents so much suffering and emancipation for India (see below). From Wikipedia....
Also in Varanasi, Coni bought this 100% silk scarf and a little purse from Kathmandu. The photos don't do them justice.
Embroidery on Pashmina
This is the stellar piece, bought in Darjeeling. Coni was told that a "true" pashmina is embroidered. At first I thought I was looking at a printed fabric. This shawl was handwoven in a twill, and then embroidered by a man from Kashmir who took seven, yes, SEVEN, years to complete it. That just boggles my mind. The love and care he used to create this masterpiece is so very evident.
A Cotton Piece in What Technique?
Here is an interesting piece. I am not sure how it is made. Is it Tunisian Crochet? Is it somehow knitted? The fringes look like I-cord. It is a local tradition in Veranasi.
And last is this sweet pair of slippers Coni bought in Kathmandu, Nepal.
I hope you all enjoyed this foray into Indian textiles!