Textile designer VARUNA ANAND educates us on the art of Kashmiri shawl-making at EVOLUZIONE “India has such a rich heritage of textiles but even among all this beauty I believe that Kashmiri shawls are special.” says textile expert Varuna Anand. Jammu-based Varuna graced us with her presence at boutique Evoluzione last week with a special curation of Kahsmiri shawls. From effervescent pashminas in bright hues to glorious tilla and kani shawls with intricate embroidery Anand’s collection is fit for royalty. But with summer nearly upon us in Chennai the question uppermost on my mind was her timing —Varuna laughs “I agree. It is rather hot in Chennai most of the year. But believe it or not this is not my first time here!” Varuna’s label ‘The Splendor of Kashmir’ works with artisans in our northern-most state reviving age-old shawl-making techniques and educating fashion forward across the world on these beautiful creations.
“I find that our audience in Chennai is always most appreciative of handmade textiles so I love coming to Chennai.” explains the textile designer. “I understand that they use their shawls and stoles when they travel and as gifts.” The textile maven enlightens us on the art of shawl making “Pashima — the yarn is obtained (in a cruelty-free way) from goats that live in the Himalayas. The yarn is from Ladakh, while the yarn is spun in Kashmir and then hand-crafted into shawls. As we document it and look at history this art is so old and has survived generations on royal patronage from around the world.”
Varuna’s weavers have enjoyed the patronage of Princess Madeline of Sweden and the Maharana of Udaipur recently. “Other famous types of shawls include the Kani shawl —the mastery here is that the jacquard-type weave is handmade and each shawl takes about ten months to make. The Tilla shawl is embellished with a metallic silver thread.” With some shawls taking upto a year to handcraft it is no wonder that these pashminas often resemble tapestries with the embroidery telling us a story... Visit Evoluzione until March 9. For more info: firstname.lastname@example.org