TThe women of Himachal are expert at making woolen coverings such as woolen socks and gloves to beat the chill. These gloves and socks are...
Wool - Spinning, Weaving, Knitting
The regions having cold climate and generally involved in using wool and in its weaving. According to Hindu mythology, Brahma, The Creator, himself created wool with kusa grass, which is used for worship. Amulets and charms are tied with woollen threads while a black woollen thread tied on a person is supposed to ward off evil spirits. Pashmina is the most prized wool as it got from the under belly of the Himalayan pashmina goat, which grazes at an height of 14,000 feet.
The woollen garment most popular throughout India is the shawls of Kashmir and the Punjab. The jamavar shawl ( jama means robe, and var means yardage) is also very famous. The number of colours in one shawl could be as many as 50 could also be a two-sided weave called as do-rookha. The kani shawl has several shuttles or kanis and requires three or more weavers for the weaving process. Raw wool from the sheep has to undergo several processes before it can be used as yarn for weaving. The fleece is first sorted by hand separating the fine wool from the coarse. Fibres of similar length are put together and washed in soapy water to remove impurities like straw, thorns, and burrs which are burried in the animal's coat. The wool is then pulled apart to separate and loosen the entangled fibres with the help of two wooden combs by placing a lock of wool on one comb and then straightening the entanglements by placing another comb on top and drawing the wool fibres between the two. The untwined wool is then spun into yarn using a spindle.