The Art and Process of Weaving Shawls

Weaving is a process whereby woven fabrics are formed on a loom by the interlacing of warp yarns which are set length ways on the machine, and a weft yarn is inserted usually at right angles to the warp.

The connection between man and cloth has been the most primitive aspect of civilization. It is an established fact that the oldest retrievable piece of clothing in the world is a piece of shawl dating 1050 B.C. Read more on Pashtush Blog

The process of making shawls starts with the Weaving. It is a process where shawls are formed on a loom by the interlacing of different warp yarns which are set longitudinally on a machine. A weft yarn is then introduced horizontally at right angles to the warp. This alternating dance of the warp and weft is what creates the magic of Shawl.

Before weaving begins , The yarns in the warp are arranged together parallel to each other. This process is called warping. In the hand weaving process this is carried out by stringing each and every line of yarn carefully next to another. The artisans here have an opportunity to introduce the first elements of design into the weave. Firstly the warp yarns are fed from a creel, and wrapped in small sections around a rotating taped drum, and then from the drum they are unwound and transferred to a beam, which fits directly onto the loom.

Kullu Weaving Shawl

Depending on the requirement of the shawl the warp yarns are either two-fold double ply (2xply) when the need is of a warmed thicker fabric fit for carrying out embroidery in the future, such as this Pashtush Border Embroidery Shawl or single ply (1xply) in which the resultant fabric is softer lighter and significantly of lesser weight. In the weaving of shawls the weft yarns are usually single ply such as the famous Pashtush Ring Shawl

The warp yarns are fed from a creel and then they are wrapped around a rotating drum through which it is loaded on a beam which fits directly onto the loom.

The process of weaving has three important movements.

  • shedding: Some yarns are lifted up by the loom to give way for the weft yarn to be inserted.
  • picking: insertion of the weft yarn
  • beating up: pushing the weft yarn forward, so that it lies adjacent to the previous weft yarn.

Kashmiri Kaani Weave Pashmina Shawl

It is here in the shedding phase that gives an opportunity to introduce the elements of design into the shawl. The beautiful patterns are created by choosing which of the yarns to lift up at the exact time when the desired color of the weft is inserted under them. The play of colours and patterns is what creates charm of Pashtush Shawls.

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