A luxury brand that specialises in creating pashmina products, Kashmir Loom was established in 1998 by Jenny Housego and Asaf Ali, with studios in Srinagar and New Delhi. The products are handspun and handwoven using fine pashmina wool with modern design incorporated into traditional products.
A British textile historian and designer, Housego first established her textile company Shades of India in 1992, before she was introduced to Asaf Ali who was involved in the carpet making business. They eventually started the luxury brand and opened it for the public in 2000, with the aim of preserving tradition while modernizing design elements within classic shawl designs. One of these iterations involved using metallic yarn with pashmina wool to embellish embroidery, something that their master weaver Ghulam Hassan was initially against. Their success in revitalising old age designs pushed the company towards rethinking kani woven shawls and dorukha shawls in minimal and contemporary designs. The products themselves are hand-woven using traditional Kashmiri weaving and embroidery practices. The ground pashmina is hand-spun using a charkha as pure gossamer yarn, which is woven by the weavers, primarily men, into the soft and luxurious fabric. The brand specialises in creating pashmina shawls and stoles, kani weave shawls, dorukha shawls, embroideries such as suzuni and papier-mache and solid cream cashmere products.
Kashmir Loom products are sold in exclusive outlets across India, as well as in international stores such as Jim Thompson, Bergdorf Goodman and Takashimaya stores, and in museum stores of the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) and Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. MoMA also featured three shawls from Kashmir Loom in their exhibition Items: Is Fashion Modern? (2017) as contemporary iterations of shawls to acknowledge their profound effect on fashion over the last century.
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