Sourced from Ladakh and made in Srinagar
The brand Splendor of Kashmir has an enviable clientele — of royalty, including Sara Abdullah Pilot, Shriji Arvind Singh Mewar (The Maharana of Udaipur), Zainab Omar Abdullah (former Chief Minister of Kashmir). Having made a name for reviving the age-old art of shawl-making in Srinagar, they now have a new collection, the Heirloom.The journey of Varuna Anand, founder and designer of the brand, started in 2011 when her late husband Parveen Anand encouraged her to use her Textile Designing background to preserve this art of Srinagar. The designer tells us that even in a predominantly warm city like Chennai she has a set of regular patron ordering her shawls. “I display my shawls at Chennai quite often. A city with a rich taste for art and culture, people here appreciate my work,” says the Kashmir-based designer, who was in the city last September for a talk.
Varuna shares how Jammu and Kashmir, being a hub of shawl making, has an entire cottage industry chain depending on this occupation. From sourcing the wool to sewing, everything happens within a 20-30 km radius around Srinagar. Known for their pashmina creations, they also work on fabrics like kani and jamavar with motifs of ferns, paisley and flowers.
Speaking about the challenges in the process, she says, “Working on a single shawl takes upto 14 to 20 months, if it is a masterpiece, especially in such harsh weather conditions.” Her favourite pick is the Sui Kaam Jamavars, a particular design of shawl, with an extensive embroidery technique from a single stitch called a Sozni stitch to a papier-mâché stitch.Varuna Anand will be showcasing her Heirloom collection curated by Sara Abdullah Pilot, co-founder and Chairperson of NGO Cequin, in New Delhi, Gurugram and Bombay from November 9-16.
`10,000 upwards. Details: facebook.com/Thesplendorofkashmir/