Well at Bhat Brothers there is a bunch of unrelated and pleasing diversity of Kashmiri shawls at hand, “Kani Shawl is in the middle of the admirable and limited ones”. It is furthermore one of the classical artisanship items of Kashmir valley, India. From the time of Mughals, the Kani Shawls have been gaining its appropriate acknowledgment. Kani shawls are fabricated in the Kanihama region of the valley. These handmade charmers relish the superiority of terrestrial sign that means the shawls manufacture exterior of the said locality succeeding the identical methodology cannot be trade as Kani Shawl.
When we got into history, we found that the artwork had begun at Kanihama in 3000 B.C. The title of the shawl ‘Kani’ was represented originating at whereabouts of the artisans called Kanihama of Kashmir. In dialect, the name Kani in addition signifies small wooden oblong spool.
From the Mughal Era, it has been loved by the kings and rulers. As reported from Ain-i-Akbari, King Akbar was a passionate addict of Kani Shawl in his collection; there were numerous pieces of these superlative products. It was adored close to Sikh Maharaja and British nobleman also. It is sole worthy export product from Kanihama valley since the memorable (Mughal) age.
Pashmina Yarn is the base of Kani Shawls. It has achieved the premier Shawl one could anytime buy. The underfur of Pashmina Goats, they lean-to in springtime naturally harvested by regional artisans habituated to manufacture the costly fabric on earth. Changthangi goats’ lives in the cold desert zone of Ladakh who grow the underfur to undergo the winter temperature (which goes up to -40° C) in the region. Soft hairs of Changthangi goats’ will be segregated and cleaned to arrange for thread spinning. Afterwards artisans mainly women spindle the hair to create elegant Pashmina wool in Charkhas belonging to them. When the yarn is ready, it is now they fabricate shawl. The differentiation of other Pashmina shawls and Kani Shawls are; shuttle weaving for regular Pashmina shawl and cane or wooden needles are used to weave Kani shawls.
Naqash is called for the inventor who designs style of shawl. Immense mastery of the Mughal Era can be seen in designs. It is alike to the flowers and leaves that are woven into the carpet. Design drawing is first done on graph paper by naqash and then infuses it with colors. The craft being used to bring design into life with the help of cane needles which are filled with different colors of yarns. Stunningly, instead of embroidery, designs are weaved on the appearance of shawl. This is an elegance of it. Because of no drum which come and go from one periphery to another to shape the wrap, the pointer are called Tujis with individual colors of yarns are fitted at different points of the thread spread.
Code called ‘Talim’ is followed by artisans for designing, created by the planner. The ‘Talim’ commands a weaver about number of wrap thread to be covered by specific color yarn. All colors have particular code kept by artisans in front while weaving. Patience is a key for producing Kani Shawl. Craftsmen spend 5 to 7 hours daily in this fascinating process to weave a maximum of one inch in a day subject to complication of design. As mentioned making of Kani Shawl is time-consuming art and patience show being the size, detailing, and most importantly design, it takes 6 to 18 months to produce one Kani Shawl.
By giving this information, you will understand much of handiwork is required to weave the shawl. It is not possible to produce Kani shawl by an ordinary weaver as it demands special training, knowledge, and patience to executive the minute technique. The heritage and modus operandi of producing Kani shawls by Bhat Brothers are maintained among the generations of artisans.
You must have known now, the total of labor, time, and complication of craftsmanship needed to weave a single Kani shawl which is more than any other description of handloom product, is a reason, it is very costly. Because of the fame and limits of Kani Shawls, these are displayed in some eminent museums like the Musée des Arts Décoratifs, Paris, Victoria and Albert Museum, London and the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.
In comparison with any other handloom product Kani Jamewar Pashmina Shawl spot to be outrageous and the labor involved in creating this product makes it the most expensive in market. Although, celebrated Talim patterns are also machine woven shawls, which is latest in market influenced by Kani Shawl industry as representation of both are alike. In India including Kashmir machine woven shawls are popularly available. The replica of machine woven shawl cost about $54 which is one-twentieth of genuine handwoven Kani shawl’s price.
Handcrafted Kani shawls are expensive than machine woven shawl. Handcrafted shawls cost approx $1200 USD to $3000 USD which is quite worth money keeping in mind the efforts, time and quality goes into making. Due to the degree of Kani shawls, these are safeguarded and exhibited in museums like “Victoria and Albert Museum, London”, “The Musée des Arts Décoratifs, Paris” and “The department of Islamic art at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York”.
Currently, some manufacturers started imitating the ‘Talim’ to manufacture machine-made shawls. Because these are motivated by original Kani shawl’s design and look nearly same buyers can purchase machine-made shawls at ten-time economical rates.
As per the craftsmen of this industry, Kani Shawl has the GI tag so outside Kanihama, manufacturing of these shawls cannot be named Kani Shawls. The authentic buyers can undoubtedly recognize difference between original Kani Shawl and a machine-made replica.